So much to write today! We had lot of rain again yesterday morning when we left Luxembourg. We got to the KTM dealer in Brussells at about 11 and it turned out to be just offices. However, the staff were really friendly and went out of their way to help us. One of the guys rang round the local dealers and found someone with one thermostat in stock just 15 minutes away. He printed us a map and off we went.
The garage was run by a lovely guy called Jean Marc. He was about to go out for lunch but was happy for us to use his garage as Rich was quite confident he could fit it himself. So Rich stripped the bike down and replaced the thermostat.
It took about 2 hours. It was beautiful sunshine so I sat and read my book and occasionally helped and told him how great he was ha ha. It does impress me though how Rich can just figure out problems and fix them. He had downloaded the manual for the bike onto my ipod the night before as he had never changed a thermostat. Altogether it cost us about 46 Euros.
So, off to Brugge! This was possibly the highlight of the trip for me. Having watched the brilliantly funny movie 'In Brugge' I was really excited to see a lot of the places from the movie. Rich wasn't as excited as me but this changed when we got there. The weather stayed sunny and warm for the rest of the day. Rode into the centre of Brugge at about 4pm. I suggested Rich park up and wait while I go and try to find a hotel. I had looked on the internet the day before and lots of places were fully booked. The cheapest one I had found was 62 Euros and that was pretty basic. Also, they all seemed to charge about 20 - 25 Euros for parking. So we were really lucky in that I walked for about 3 minutes down a side street and the first hotel I came to had one double room left due to a cancellation. And it was only 60 Euros including breakfast, and they had space in their garage for the bike free of charge. Although it was only 3 minutes from the centre it was a lovely quiet side street running alongside a canal.
It was run by two brothers who were both really friendly and nice.
Got showered and changed, rang my friend Tam in England as soooo excited to be here and knew she would be jealous as she is massive fan of the movie, and then went out to explore.
Brugge is a gorgeous city. In fact, I think it is the nicest city I have ever visited. Amazing buildings, lovely canals, lots of chocolate shops and little cafes and a wonderful atmosphere. Loads of little side streets and every corner seems to bring something new and lovely to look at.
We wondered around until 11pm. We ate in the square with a view of the bell tower which looks gorgeous lit up at night. Got up early on Saturday (today), had breakfast and went out. We found a lovely tea room where we had an amazing hot chocolate. We were brought a big steaming mug of milk, some mini whisks and a cup of dark chocolate chips to stir into it. Fun to make and absolutely delicious. Then we walked to the top of the belfry - 366 steps.
Kept laughing about the movie. Every time we saw a erm, large person, we would say in an Irish accent to each other "you don't want to go up there" and it got funnier each time. You will have to watch the movie if you don't know what I am talking about. Very easy climb and just 8 Euros each. I thought it was going to be hard but we are pretty fit and hardly broke a sweat which felt good when lots of people that we passed coming back down were huffing and puffing.
Got heaps of photos today. Wondered round a few shops then headed back to the hotel to pick up our stuff. The guys at the hotel had let us leave our bike gear in their lounge for the morning which was really nice of them since we only stayed the one night.
Left for the ferry port at 12.30, arrived at 3 and sat in the pub for a while. Now standing outside the ferry port in the rain (again) I am usually sad at the end of a holiday but am not this time as I know we are going to be doing lots more of these. This is the most fun holiday I have ever had and we are going to start planning the next one when we get back.
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