Brugge on Saturday
Everyone always says that you should go to Brugge. Up until now I haven’t done it, but today I rectified that situation. And Brugge is so worth all the hype and more – it’s just stunning. This is the location of the famous Arnolfini Marriage portrait. The buildings are perfect – and they have dates like 1516 on them – amazing! We went for a canal boat tour, a great way to see the city and well recommended. Had lunch in a lovely little cafe that did the most delectable little cakes. I could easily spend a few days here, it’s just so beautiful. It’s on my list for a revisit for sure.
Paris on Sunday
Woke up on Sunday with no real plans and then Alan came up with a great idea – let’s go to Paris! So, into the car for the drive down to the French capital. We were following the tomtom’s instructions when it finally told us to take the second exit at the next round about – which happened to be the Arc de Triumph. If you’re ever in Paris go and see this, and watch the traffic – it’s like you’re in a video game. At one point there was a car driving directly at me while a bus pulled out exactly in front of us, wild.
We pulled into a car park of the Champs-Elysées. There was a sign on the ticket machine, my French is woeful and all we could make out was something about 6pm. It was a 24 hour park so we grabbed the ticket and parked the car.
Out on the street we realised that it was the World Cup final – France against Italy. People were going nuts. It was such a great atmosphere. So we walked around and saw some more sights including Sacre Coer. The game started as we were leaving – and the streets just emptied. Walking past one shop I almost got bowled over as one man came running onto the street after France’s goal. We then kept up by listening to the cheers and the groans and the like, occasionally poking our heads into a pub to get the score.
After dinner we watched the end of it – and when Italy won we thought it would be a good idea to get out! As we headed back to the Champs-Elysées we realised that we really should have figured out exactly what the sign was saying – the famous boulevard was jam packed with people, with fireworks and riot police, it was a great party. We decided that if we couldn’t get the car out we’d just have to stay the night in Paris (what a shame). When it came down to it, all the sign was talking about was that we had to leave through a different exit – so getting the car out was no drama, traffic however was typical Paris – mental!
Antwerp on Monday
Monday was Alan’s birthday and we spent most of it going to Maas Mechelen, an outlet shopping village about an hour away. I wasn’t feeling to well so we didn’t go to Germany as originally planned, ended up having dinner at a lovely thai place in Antwerp. Was a lovely day.
Back to Dublin on Tuesday night – love the long weekends in Europe, you can do so much!