5th-10th December 2022 Brugge (Camping Memling).

When Angela and I began looking at our winter 2022 travels plans and working out a route to family in Germany we selected a few sites we wanted to visit again

One thing we had forgotten about when booking the site in Brugge was that the Christmas market was on.

We wanted to stay for at least five nights but the weekend during our planned dates were fully booked so I emailed the site to explain our situation. Almost immediately a very helpful Mathieu replied and a few messages later all was sorted and we would be accommodated but not on a normal pitch.

Arrival time was from midday so we didn’t need to leave too early from Ypres. It was about an hours drive (foggy and drizzling) and we arrived just after midday after stopping for a short break at a service station so we didn’t arrive too early. At the service station we were greeted by about five cockerels that were just roaming around!

The barrier at the campsite has ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) so opens as you pull up to it…….Normally!

As mentioned above we were not on a normal pitch so the barrier was programmed not to let us through. A lady came out to speak to us to let us know where we were to park. It turned out to be a great pitch all on our own and tucked in a corner out of the way.

We talked to her about the local Christmas market and she was not impressed with it this year. She said an option for us was to get a train to Ostend which had a better one.

We finally got on our pitch after filling up with fresh water and then wandered into the local Carrefour for a bit of food shopping. Locally there is also an Aldi and a Lidl, all within a ten minute walk from the campsite.

Camping Memling -Link to video

Campsite fees

Standard grass pitch 8×10 metres

5 nights total price €155

2 adults, VAT, tourism tax €3 per adult per night, showers and WiFi

Electricity is 6amps or 1300 watts. This is limited to 5 kilowatts per day.

Before arriving you get an email with your reservation number and a pitch number which makes it very easy.

Tuesday 6th December

Today was supposed to be an easy day and when we woke up to sleet and rain we were tempted to stay in . This soon stopped so into town we went to have a walk around and check out the Christmas market. By the time we got in to the centre we had blue skies but it was a bit chilly.

We were not that impressed with the Christmas market and felt that it lacked atmosphere. It was in the daytime so maybe at night it would feel better with the lights and more people.

We came here back in the winter of 2009 and thought it was magical. Maybe this was because it was our first time at a Christmas market outside of the UK?

We walked around some more exploring some of the side streets and ended up having a waffle and a coffee in a small café. After this we made our way back to the van which ended up being six miles in total.

During the evening our water pump kept coming on intermittently which is not a good sign as it could mean a leak!

On inspection I found a small pinprick size leak from the hot water pipe coming from the boiler. We have had this before so luckily I keep a couple of meters of 15mm plastic pipe. I cut the old bit out and put in a new bit which worked although it was leaking a bit from the push fit connector. This, after advice from a good friend was rectified by simply making sure the pipe was cut flush and a smear of Vaseline around the o-ring before refitting.

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Thursday 8th December

A beautiful rainbow first thing this morning after a night of heavy rain.

As we left the campsite this morning Angela went to check out the laundry room.

A day of walking anti-clockwise around the waterways of Brugge stopping first to wait for the bridge to lower again after a large barge came through at the Kruispoort 2 bridge. While waiting for the barge to pass by a small crowd of pedestrians and cyclists had gathered. As soon as the bridge lowered and the green light came on it was like the start of a race with everyone jostling for position. We let them all go before we carried on as we were in no hurry.

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We set off along the tree lined canal which had an autumnal feel as there were still some leaves on the trees and many on the floor which crunched as you walked over them.

We passed a few windmills until we reached the Dampoort. This was a city gate around Brugge and in medieval days it formed part of the defensive ring.

We were heading for The Langerei which is a canal or waterway and a street in the centre of Brugges. The rei continues from the Spiegelrei, starts at the Carmersbrug and ends at the Dampoort. The street of the same name, located on the west bank, runs from the Gouden-Handbrug to the Wulpenstraat.

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It began raining as we got onto Langerei and gradually got heavier so we decided that we FZ2A4588needed to take cover somewhere. As luck would have it we found ourselves outside Lizzies Waffels on Sint-Jacobsstraat (16). We went inside and the smell of fresh coffee and waffles was amazing. We found a table and sat down to study the menu. There were quite a few variations of toppings and different types of hot drinks but we eventually made our choices, ordered and eagerly waited!

If you are ever in Brugge we certainly recommend this place. The staff were polite,very helpful and the atmosphere was good. We were watching the faces light up of the other customers when their waffle order was placed in front of them.

By the time we had finished eating it had stopped raining so we carried on exploring the centre and surrounding area. We were looking for a shop we saw the other day that had lovely stuffed toys and animals. What we particularly liked was two mice and we managed to find it, buy the mice and then head back to the van.

Today’s walking total was 7 miles.

Friday 9th December

As we’re leaving tomorrow for Antwerp and we have been doing plenty of walking we decided to stay onsite today. We will be coming back on our return journey so will have more time to explore some places we never got to see. Maybe even have another waffle!

Angela went to the laundry room to clear our washing and I started updating our website.

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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