Dreaming of Belgium
It's been more than four months since we spent a week driving around Belgium generally having a wonderful old time. And ever since I've wanted to go back.
We toyed with the idea of popping back either just before Christmas or between Christmas and New Year. But we had to be honest with building work scheduled for January (which has since started turning our garden into a trench filled mudbath) we figured we'd be better off saving the money.
It hasn't stopped me wanting though.
I never thought Belgium would be one of those places that would inspire this level of longing in me. I know I feel this way about Venice. Venice is particularly special. Venice gets into your blood, under your skin. It infects you.
But I never expected that of Belgium. But it got all of us. The week we spent traveling around was wonderful. Bruges is magical. Ghent is wonderful. As are Antwerp, Tournai, Mons and Brussels.
OK I will admit that Chimay the town itself was no great shakes but it gave my father-in-law a chance to visit the monastery where one of his favourite beers is brewed.
Well we have pretty much decided we are going back there this coming September. Only this time instead of hiring a cottage in the west of the country as we did last year - the cottage being near Lille (actually in Northern France just ten kilometres from the Belgium border). This time we are going to drive further into Europe before we make base - somewhere around Spa looking likely.
And the reason for such a location. It's simple - look at a map! Spa would put us close to the borders with Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - and not all that far from the Lorraine area of France - a part I've never been. We could visit places in five separate countries in one holiday without travelling more than a hundred kilometres in any direction. Now that sounds worth doing...