It’s official, I’m the worst blogger ever. So rather than waiting to perfect posts about each place we’ve visited, I’m going to start a weekly update. This first one might be a bit all over the place.
The journey… so far
Melbourne (Australia) > Singapore > Hong Kong > London (UK) > Faro (Portugal) > Lagos (Portugal) > Paris (France) > Hesdin (France) > Bruges (Belgium) > Ghent (Belgium) > Brussels (Belgium) > Antwerp (Belgium) > Rotterdam (Netherlands) > Amsterdam (Netherlands) > Utrecht (Netherlands)
Bruges has been, without a doubt, our favourite location so far. We even extended our stay. I imagine that it would lose some of its charm in peak season, simply due to the big crowds and long lines. But our winter visit involved neither of those things and yet Bruges was still perfectly charming – this town does not need sunshine to be appealing. If anything, walking along the cobbled streets arm-in-arm in boots and coats, and enjoying a Belgian beer in a cosy pub/bar seemed the perfect way to enjoy Bruges.
Our bike ride from Bruges (Belgium) to Sluis (Netherlands) was another highlight. The scenery is stunning and there are a few quaint towns to stop at along the way. Definitely recommend it for anyone visiting Bruges.
Paris lived up to the hype of my first visit and continued to impress. There is so much to see and do. You can visit every amazing museum or spend each afternoon in a different Parisian garden with a fresh baguette and cheese. We enjoyed a bit of both. Oh, and we went ice skating on the Eiffel Tower… yeah, that was pretty awesome.
Brussels was pleasantly surprising and it was oddly comforting to see glass skyscrapers. (Yep, think I am definitely a city girl.) We were lucky enough to be there during Brussels’ Colours, which basically involved street performers, a concert, some strange Belgian dancing (that everyone around us seemed to know) and a lot of yelling “Bruxelles! Bruxelles!”. We loved it.
Throughout the trip we are varying our accommodation – a mix of hotels, hostels, airbnbs and farm/homestays. We had our best hostel experience in Rotterdam. It wasn’t the best place if you wanted to go to sleep before 2am, but we met some fantastic people and we are now keen sjoelen players. Oh and we saw some old windmills (Kinderdijk), very cool.
Last but not least, our first and only (so far) workaway experience, which is basically a farm/homestay where you work for a few hours a day in return for food and accommodation. We want to experience more than the usual tourist traps and this is a good way to do that.
We stayed with the lovely Donna and Nik in St Georges (near Hesdin) in Pas-de-Calais, France for a week. The work was pretty different for me, since I’ve never really done any physical labour. But I learnt how to use a jigsaw, circular saw and angle grinder, and now know much more about roof tiling (in the old French style). Even more remarkable though, I actually bonded with cats. I had to take a heap of antihistamines to be around them, but I actually found a soft spot for cats… crazy. Anyways, Nik and Donna were great and we are planning to visit them again in the summer.
We have just arrived in Utrecht, our last stop in the Netherlands, and then we head to Germany.
At the moment we’re still planning to travel for another two months, but we might skip some of mainland Europe so that we can tour Ireland and the UK.
Missing you guys