Back to Europe 2005


After a 4:45 am wake-up call (!!!) and breakfast, we met the other people on the tour in the lobby of our London hotel, got tour tags for the luggage and boarded the bus for our tour.  We beat the traffic (I would think so!!!) and headed to Dover for the ferry to France.  We saw the "White Cliffs of Dover" (they really are white) from the ferry and landed in the French city of Calais.  From there we drove through the French country-side to Belgium and our first stop, Bruges.


Bruges Bruges was once a major sea port and, in the 14th century, was one of the largest cities in world.  By the 16th century, the harbour had silted up and Bruges faded into history.  Today, it is a tourist centre.  Like Venice and Amsterdam, it is a city of canals with water taxis and bridges everywhere. 

We bought our first Belgian chocolates.




Brussels has both the NATO headquarters and the Parliament for the European Union.  It has hosted two World's Fairs, in 1930 and in 1958.  The centre square, Grote Markt (or Grand Place), has the City Hall, built in the 15th Century, on one side and guild halls on the other three sides.  The guild halls date from 1695 when they were rebuilt after having been destroyed in a siege.

Belgium derived most of its wealth from the Congo in the 19th and early 20th centuries and spent a lot of it on buildings.


We toured the old city centre by foot and the modern city by bus, had Belgian waffles and bought some lace souvenirs. We spent the night in Brussels and left the next day for Amsterdam


Continue to Holland

Back to Europe 2005