Today Phil and I went on a day trip to France – the social club at work were offering £10 tickets on the Sea France Ferry crossings.
It was pouring with rain when we got up – and still pouring with rain all the way down the motorway. We got to the ticket office and were asked where the other seven people were. What other seven people! Social club had booked nine passengers on my booking, so we had to wait at the ticket queue while the clerk very slowly – and very good naturedly – made out a new ticket.
We could feel the love of the people in the queue behind us! Eventually one man got out of his car behind and knocked on the car window and said “Excuse me, but how much longer will you take? I don’t mean to be violent (!!!!) but I really need to get this crossing”
A little while longer and a woman came up to our window and asked the same thing, as her children were desperate for the loo.
We were only there for about 3 minutes – and this was half an hour before the sailing was due.
We got good seats on the ferry and I sat and knitted while Phil roamed the ship.
When we got off in Calais we decided to drive over to Bruges – it was still pouring with rain.
The drive took about an hour or so – and as we drove the sun came out and it started to get warmer. We found the car park near to the station and set off to find the centre of town using a map we found at the station – unfortunately we couldnt find any of the road names on the map and it turned out that we had walked a huge detour around the ring road!
Picture of man with map realising he has made wrong decision! Note the looming thunder clouds which had followed us from Calais!
We stopped to eat at a cafe near to the swingbridge over the canal – as the menu was all in Flemish we weren’t very adventurous and Phil had lasagne and I had mushroom omelette (omlet champignons I recognised!)
We walked on into the centre of Bruges – looked into an art gallery which had some beautiful pictures by Eugene Demane, almost like modern Turners – and some ceramic figures by Christien Dutoit with strange Easter Island faces and long long fingers. No prices on anything – so obviously beyond our reach.
It was raining by then – as we walked over a bridge over the canal we saw these boats – umbrellas provided by the boat tours! They couldn’t have seen very much.
Above is a picture of an oompah band and woman who had just refused to sit in the rain and listen to them. Yes – the seat was dry – but all around was wet!
We went onto the market square, where there was a pointless queue of people. Just a line – apparently waiting for nothing! We went and sat in a bar to watch the queue – asked the barman why they were waiting there – he looked out and shrugged and said “Who cares”
Only nosy English people obviously. The toilet at the bar was quite scary – I got up to press the button I thought was the flush, and there was a whirring sound, a box came out of the cistern and the seat slowly started to revolve – it was a futuristic cleaning mechanism – I’m glad that I didn’t lean against the button while sitting there!
We found the quick and pretty way back to the station – through this square –
and past these bikes. There were loads of people cycling -there were proper cycle paths – it would be good to go back and hire bikes.
We drove back and made a detour through Gravelines, which is a pretty little town. Didn’t stop as we realised halfway around that we didn’t really have enough time to make the detour! Got back to the ferry ticket office – and found that we hadn’t been booked onto the ferry – luckily they managed to get us on as the clerk said that the ship was full.
Up until then we had had a cheap day out – but Phil hit the ferry shop and came back laden with wine boxes!
Didn’t get much knitting done – I started a Shetland scarf but was too lazy to swatch and then found that 200 stitches would make a stole rather than a scarf, so decided to undo it and make it half the size. Also found out that shetland lace knitting is too complicated to knit if you are traveling with someone who expects you to speak to them!