Category Archive

Leers – Nord to Perwelz, Belgium Leers – Nord to Perwelz, Belgium

A midmorning start, this was our last day on the Roubaix – L’Espierres – Spierekanaal. It almost defied belief, but the landscape became increasingly more beautiful: strongly reminiscent of the Midi with its towering avenues of trees that lined the canal sides. Two more sets of moorings at kilometres five and eight were right in […]

Roubaix, France to Leers Nord, Belgium Roubaix, France to Leers Nord, Belgium

Our days in the Roubaix area at an end, nine o’clock found the boys ready and waiting at the lock and Gratis was raring to go. Lines off, down she motored and straight as an arrow in went Big G. What a beautiful old bridge was this! On exiting Lock 11, we were greeted with […]

It WAS Time!!!!!!

It was time to deal with sorting my backups by reorganising and removing all of the copies. Eight years’ worth takes quite a while. It’s all done now, so I am ready to start on the blog once more.

Veurne, Belgium to Dunkerque, France Veurne, Belgium to Dunkerque, France

Travel the Nieuwpoort – Dunkerque and Furnes Canals Summer had at last arrived and with it, the duckweed!!!! With clear blue skies and a heat that rivals that found in Adelaide on a normal summer’s day, Gratis was on the move once more. What a difference to last year’s cold and rain! In order to […]

Veurne, Belgium Veurne, Belgium

A Small Town With A Lot Of History After a week in Corfu where we visited our possible second yacht, Bob and I returned to Veurne. Having spent a short few hours here last year, a was a delight having the time to explore past the town’s market square. The town was founded in approximately […]

Fintele to Veurne, Belgium Fintele to Veurne, Belgium

The Lovaart (Lok/Lo) Canal What an exquisitely beautiful fourteen and a half kilometre section of waterway and countryside. Having spoken to the lock keep er the afternoon before, 9am saw the lines released, and the heritage Fintele lock entered. With its sloping bricked sides aligned in blooming masses of colour, the water slowly rose. The […]

Poperinge, Belgium Poperinge, Belgium

Situated in the low foothills of the Kemmelberg, a formation of hills in Western Flanders, and a mere fifteen kilometres from Fintele is the village of Poperinge. Our destination for the day, our journey’s path also led us through some beautiful farming villages. The township itself has some beautiful buildings, cells where British soldiers were […]

Fort Knokke to Fintele, Belgium Fort Knokke to Fintele, Belgium

Continuing upon the Ijzer, the day’s destination was Fintele, a short 6km away. We didn’t think the scenery where only distant church spires denoted the presence of townships could become any more picturesque, but it did. With a depth of mostly 1.8m, there was only one point at which Gratis gently rose and fell: we […]

Ieper and the Yeper Museum: Ypres, Belgium Ieper and the Yeper Museum: Ypres, Belgium

Yesterday we discovered that for 13 euro each, we could see both Ín Flanders Fields and the Yeper Museums, so Bob and I purchased the tickets to both: that for the latter was valid for three days, such a bonus! As with ‘In Flander’s Fields’ Museum, this too was situated in the old cloth hall. After yesterday’s emotional […]

Museum Aan de Ijzer: Diksmuide, Belgium Museum Aan de Ijzer: Diksmuide, Belgium

Flanders Fields contain so many monuments, cemeteries and museums dedicated to those hundreds of thousands people killed that it would take a person months to view it all. Bob and I have decided to focus on just a few places on the list, and several are in, or near, Diksmuide. Just across the river Ijzer, […]

Westhoek Marina, Nieuwpoort to Diksmuide: Belgium Westhoek Marina, Nieuwpoort to Diksmuide: Belgium

Having exited our night’s berth, I turned Gratis away from the lock and motored her to the bottom of the marina. Turning to her to port we followed the channel down to the entrance of the Ijzer. Our destination of Diksmuide was only a couple of hours motor down the track. The peaceful river wound […]

Damme, Belgium Damme, Belgium

A pleasurable sixteen kilometre round journey from Brugge led us first along the Damme Canal, then through stunning countryside full of crops to the medieval township of Damme and back. Although its 7 star shaped walls are currently in the state of restoration, sadly much of the original old town has disappeared, the casualty resultant […]

Schipdonk Lock to Bruges, Belgium Schipdonk Lock to Bruges, Belgium

Travel back in time to the denouement of the last ice age when, with the warming of the earth, waters rose as the melting of the ice caps commenced: this was the birth of the North Sea we know today. From this event, the great northern European rivers of today were created, which in turn […]

Terneuzen, Netherlands to KYC Gent, Belgium Terneuzen, Netherlands to KYC Gent, Belgium

Unlike previous years, there are no set dates – besides departure to Oz, that is – ahead, so the aim is slow and enjoy. So, a lazy start behind us, mid – morning it was time to depart upon the Gent Terneuzen Canal for our second year running. From Vlissingen, this is the quickest way […]

Home Page Updated! Home Page Updated!

A Busy few weeks as I have updated the home page map and created a couple of videos to replace the text. Click the link to take a squizz. http://www.gratisaustralis.com/ Would love to know what you think.  

To Do Or Not To Do, that is the question…… To Do Or Not To Do, that is the question……

It’s been a while, and you are probably wondering, ‘what are the plans for Gratis in 2019’? The simple answer is, we’re really not sure. Bob and I are still hemming and hawing…….. Do we complete our travels in Belgium, or do we take the bull by the horns, return to Port Napoleon, pick up the […]

When chilled to the bone, what does one do? When chilled to the bone, what does one do?

Why, take a trip to Turkey, of course!   The bone numbing cold was indescribable…… After practically 12 months of 20+ temperatures, neither of us – myself in particular – were dealing with it well. A week of 30+ degrees was sublime, the countryside and history beyond belief. We shall return. Despite the modernity of […]

A Busy Time A Busy Time

It has been a busy few weeks for us. A quick trip down to Southern France to check out the mast. It’s there, and now Bob is looking for a carrier to bring it to Vlissingen. A quick trip into Italy. Wow Factor! I lost count of the tunnels and bridges. A detour through Pisa […]

The Paris Story Going Online. The Paris Story Going Online.

  Check it out! http://www.gratisaustralis.com/category/france-2018/

An emotional day at Museum aan de Ijzer An emotional day at Museum aan de Ijzer

Check out the new posts on our Belgian page link below. http://www.gratisaustralis.com/museum-aan-de-ijzer-diksmuide-belgium/   PLUS link detailing the 2019 journey to date. http://www.gratisaustralis.com/2019-2/ Keep an eye out for those still coming: Ieper (Ypres), Calais, Gravelines, Boulogne – Sur -Mer, Dover and more……..