6 September 2009

Bridget & Aaron Visit / Day Trip - France/Belgium

Its been a busy few days! Bridget (Rochells sis) and her husband, Aaron are over from Australia. Friday night we caught up with them and Malcolm and Sharne in a pub in town for a few drinks. It was really awesome to catch up, as its been over 12 months since we saw them last.

Friday afternoon Shaun gave me a call and asked if we wanted to go to France for the day on Saturday... Yeah, why not?! Saturday morning Shaun, Sarah, Rochelle and I jumped in the car and were out of London by 8:30am. Drove down to Folkestone to catch the chunnel train, by 11:30am we were in France!
From there we drove down south for about an hour to Lille. The initial plan was to spend most of the day there, with maybe a short trip into Belgium. But when we arrived in Lille the place was choked! We drove through the town centre, but could not find a park anywhere. Later we found out that Lille happened to be hosting the largest market in Northern Europe. Perfect timing! Besides that, the town seemed a little 'industrial', and we decided it wasn't worth the hours it was going to take to find a park, so plans changed...

We decided to head to a little town in Belgium called Tournai. The main reason being it was close. It turned out to be a good decision, it was a really amazing little place. A real authentic Belgian town. We walked around, munched on frites, bought belgian waffles and chocolate and just chilled out really. We had an interesting encounter with a public toilet, but I'm trying to keep the blog 'PG', so wont go into details.

Later in the afternoon we headed back toward Calais. Sarah had been told about a place to get some really cheap alcohol, so we headed there to stock the boot. Turns out, with the pound not as strong as it has been, that the alcohol wasn't that cheap. We still bought some French wine, rum, and some Cherry Beer (its pretty good).

We lost track of time and when we left the mall we only had an hour to be at the train station. We headed in to the centre of Calais for a quick look around and a bite to eat. Unfortunately, time was too tight to even stop and get out of the car. Got a couple of quick pics though.

Driving back to the train station, starving, we stopped at the first food place we saw - trusty McD's! I'm not really a huge fan of McDonalds, but there is one huge redeeming fact about the French stores... They serve beer!

So that was our day in France and Belgium. Rushed, but still definately worth the trip. On the way back we got absolutely GRILLED by the UK border control. I think they couldn't understand why we would visit a random town in Belgium for only one day, "just for a look".

Tomorrow we are spending the day with Bridget and Aaron, possibly going to the theatre, not sure what else really. And this Thursday we are off to Scotland! We have a day in Edinborough, a day in Inverness (in the highlands, top end of Loch Ness), and our final day in Glasgow. Should be fun =]

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