Sunday, 10 March 2013

bloodee Anglais

Wednesday 6th March 2013

Our final day here in Brugge, but we were off early for a tour by boat of some of the canals – as we know things always look different and we feel better from the water and having seen a bit of the city already we can confirm that it was indeed a much better way to see the city – certainly easier on the feet.

The driver/guide was well practised in his art and gave us a history of other buildings we had not already seen and a bit of comedy thrown in as well.

all views from the water

After the boating, we had some time for a bit more sight seeing – Diane wanted to see the museum for the hospital in Brugge – a place where during WWI a certain upstart corporal in the German Army was treated for wounds – it is said to be the reason why Brugge was spared any action or damage in WWII – so impressed was Adolf Hitler by his treatment there and his love of the city.

The museum was a little disappointing from a medical viewpoint, but it must be remembered that for much of it’s life as a hospital it was really an extension of the church and pastoral care rather than medical care was about all that was able to be undertaken.
more of the art on general display around the city

We had packed our cases early and deposited them in the arranged storage area in the hotel, so it gave us a little more time to wander around and sit and appreciate the sunny weather before we finally departed.
The swans of Brugge are well cared for and well protected - they
represent a reminder the history of actions taken in haste.

Horses and cariages are in healthy numbers around Brugge.
So you need to be careful when walking around and move out
of their way - also be careful of the many cyclists

The bus trip back to Lille was without any delay and the same level of efficiency was on display – this has been a great mini-break for us.

Once in the station we were able to grab a table as it was vacated – the eagle eyed tourists that we are – also gave me a chance to practise my French on the barista – he was able to understand – he also knew that I wasn’t French – but I continued, what was in my mind as being, excellent francaise – could almost have been a local – we would have survived on coffee and baguettes – I can’t order anything else.

Time approached for the train and so we were off to the rituals of immigration procedures – the French officials were there checking passports – obviously making sure that these people violating the language were leaving quickly, and then only the British delegation who knew a British version of the European passport when they saw one (Diane was straight through), but for anyone else there was the perfunctory “fill out the paperwork” (you could almost hear them saying – “you foreign git”) – I think their thought process is –

“if you are not British then you must be French, so we want to annoy you a bit”

The man with the French passport behind me received the same treatment - a certain degree of comraderie.

I just hope that we Australians make it difficult for all of those Poms who want to see Australia – maybe we should be really mean to them and direct them to the flights to New Zealand.

The trip back on the train was not so much anticlimactic as just unremarkable, but we did make it back on time – must be a French driver.

I am feeling some empathy for the French; maybe when I look at getting residency status later this year I should apply to be French rather than British – Je suis français

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