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Brugge, Belgium
(17/4/97 - 21/4/96)

Ahhhh, Brugge/ Bruges. I wanted to do something a bit different for our first anniversary, but we were still basically skint, and I was buggered if I was going to buy Ellie a prezzie. So I looked at where we could go abroad without spending much money. It looked like driving to Hull and getting the car Brugge, in Belgium, I found a cheap wee hotel, Hotel Cordoeanier, online that turned out to be dead central. The only criteria for selecting Brugge was that it was (a) foreign and (2) cheap to get to, oh and apperently it was licensed. If we had know beforehand how much fun it was going to be, we would have went for it straight away. Anyway, here goes.

the_travellers.jpg (36533 bytes) The four intrepid adventurers. We travelled from Hull to Zeebrugge via North Sea Ferries. As you can see from the table top, the trip started involving great amounts of beer, and continued to develop along the same path. We ended up playing Jenga with some lorry drivers - no mean feat considering the amount of beer we had and the fact that a boat does have a tendency to sway a bit while crossing the channel.
We decided to take a boat trip around the canals in the centre of the town. The pub we drank in, Erasmus, is just at the tables over at the left hand side of the picture. Another classic view I thought. river.jpg (53886 bytes)
the_pub.jpg (47389 bytes) A view of our pub again - I beginning to think we had some kind of problem here.
At last, a picture that doesn't contain the pub we drank in. I know you were beginning to think that it wasn't possible. Again, just a nice view dwn a Belgian canal. river2.jpg (49591 bytes)
river3.jpg (48611 bytes) I liked the look of the sticky oot window, sorry to lapse into architect speak there, and the pretty window boxes. Again, I came over all David Bailey'ish.
The Belgians are really serious about their beer, this bar had a menu of over 100 different ones. So when you are presented with that many beers, on what basis do you select the one to drink - so we found the strongest and worked down from there. Jim is modelling a bottle of Delerium Tremens (9% - Barley wine), a wicked little beer that comes in a glass covered in pink elephants. dt.jpg (26901 bytes)
duchesse.jpg (38445 bytes) Getting a drink for Mo is a story in itself. She originally asked for a Pils and lime, which the barman wouldn't give us (an insult to his beer apparently) and then gave her nothing. Ellie selected this wee charmer, Duchesse de Bourgogne (6.2% - Flemish Red)
I'm to be seen here drinking a little number called La Guillotine (9% - Massive ale), another little head kicker. As a wee aside, the glass you get your drink in always matches what you ordered, in one pub they had run out and apologised profusly about it. lg.jpg (32018 bytes)
duchesse2.jpg (35520 bytes) Ellie imbibing the old (not very) amber necter. This beer was picked both for its' nice name and a pleasant description and not because it loos like a small Guiness. Note the extreme use of tartan to show pride in heritage stuff.
The view from our hotel room window - a real classic. Your probably thinking 'man what a stunning view, I bet that thing can really make a helluva lot of noise when it wants to'. Well, when it wants to, it really can, like every hour and on Sundays it plays a fine collection of tunes all day long - worth it though. We climbed up the bell tower and took some pictures that you can see later, nearly killed us, but we always seem to have this compulsion to climb the highest building around (see Prague) tower.jpg (26592 bytes)
tower2.jpg (34124 bytes) I think we had just climbed up the tower, the market hall, in the background and earned to best deserved beer of the holiday.
Just a nice view that characterized the whole feel of the city. river4.jpg (40595 bytes)
park.jpg (53189 bytes) Just to prove that we didn't spend all of our time drinking, this is a park (probably near a pub). I seem to recall that it was chucking it doon at this time.
We ended up going to the same pub a lot, once we got over our little disagreement with the barman over crimes against beer. The pub overlooked the river and we always got served dead quick - ahhh the simple pleasures in life. the_four.jpg (41256 bytes)
square.jpg (53630 bytes) A view from.... you got it, a bar across the main town square. Our hotel was down a wee street just to the left of the very imposing, and pretty anonynous, building in the middle. We would gradually work our way down the bars here, following the sunlight, it was pretty cold in May.
David, Ellie & Gordon McWilliams
Revised: January 24, 2001
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