Bluey

Bluey
Come with us as we travel round Europe in our floating home

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Bruges to Ghent

Hi, welcome back.

It's absolutely scorchio here in Ghent (34'C) so I've come indoors to cool off and catch up with the blog.

We left Coupure moorings in Bruges early on Friday morning, heading for Ghent via the Kanaal Gent Ostende which is a large commercial canal.  It was the first time we've encountered seriously HUGE commercials and while the first one was a bit intimidating we soon got used to them.  We still have to share a lock with one, but that'll be a story for another day.

This was the first one we met. Roger had seen it coming towards us on the screen on our new radio so it didn't take us by surprise


We had to wait for 20 minutes for the bridge to be opened for this commercial as they take priority and bridges aren't usually opened for pleasure boats alone.


It was a good job we had the ATIS AIS system on the radio as we could see this monster approaching the guillotine bridge, even though we had all green lights which would normally have given us right of passage.


Now this one was B I G..... It was carrying 12 containers that we could see, as well as whatever was below decks. It also had 2 cars and 2 speed boats on top of the crews quarters!


Over half of these commercials were being steered by women in air conditioned control rooms and several had a man swobbing the decks or touching up the paintwork while they traveled.


The only place to stop off en-route to Ghent was at Beernam but we'd only been going about an hour so we decided against it, took it in turns to steer/eat lunch, and arrived at the Lindenlei Yacht Haven 6 hours later. Chico had crossed legs but there was nowhere at all to pull over. We were expected at the moorings but because it was weekend it was rather full and we had to breast up against an older dutch barge which wasn't a problem for us.


A few boats back from us there were two "gin palaces" breasted up together. Really nice friendly people who spread out along the pontoon and partied on champagne and seriously big lobsters....and I mean lobsters plural as I saw at least 3. When Roger saw them again next morning they were having even more lobster for breakfast. How the other half live eh? 😊


Once we settled in we went walkabout and first impressions of Ghent were WOW! It can be summed up in two words.....SIMPLY STUNNING.....

This is the Castle of the Counts - Gravensteen began life in the 10th century and was renovated in the 19th century. It is now one of the major tourist in Ghent and houses, amongst other things, the torture museum.


Everywhere you go the architecture is fabulous.



We originally booked to stay 2 nights (BOGOF through the VPF boat club that we'd joined in Bruges) but there is still so much to see and do that we've extended our stay.

Come back soon for an update. See you then 😃

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