Zeebrugge, Belgium

No overnight stop here, just a quick visit to an awesome attraction.  Toby put B-143, a Russian submarine on the map ages ago so even though we actually need to go inland from Bruges, we nipped to the coast for the afternoon to visit the submarine. We don’t normally post lots of photos on the blog, suffice to say that T has hundreds of photos of submarine interiors, so you have a lucky escape here!

This is a 100 meter long foxtrot class submarine.  Foxtrot subs were developed between 1954 and 1981 and were based largely on German technology which the USSR inherited after the war.  75 seaman would have served on the sub, and it is bloody cramped! They were also sold to nations such as Cuba, Libya, India and Poland.  Foxtrots even played a part in the Cuban missile crisis.

What is interesting is that the sub is almost untouched – it was decommissioned in June 1991 and not too much has been stripped out and even things like the torpedo computer is still intact.  Time has taken its toll on the sub, and although it looks shabby on the outside, it was great spending an hour or so clambering around inside, flicking switches and generally developing a great big grin. We only learned after leaving Zebrugge and checking up the Wikipedia page for the foxtrot class, that the sub is due to be scrapped in 2019 as it’s condition is degrading too much to leave it in the water.  So visit it while you can!

The same seafront museum also has a lightship, so we explored that, then back to Mothership for the trip to Ghent.

Bruges, Belgium

A brief stop at the local supermarket and then 50km to Bruges.  We’ve done Belgium for a weekend once before and managed to go around Bruges without visiting.  We’ve put that crime against Belginity to rights now! We’ve had a wonderful three days here – thanks Amanda and Dave for the great suggestion! 

The weather has not been kind but that hasn’t stopped us getting out and seeing the town. There were two camping options we found using our motorhome specific apps.  The first was a lovely looking camp-site but a bit out of town and the other a parking only type affair very close to the town centre. The latter was much closer to town, but had terrible terrible reviews, so we went for the out of town campsite and commuting! Camping Memling is a great little site.  Only about 40 pitches, but very spacious pitches and very nice services. Very high tech – the check in machine presents a picture of the campsite and you even get to select which pitch you want. We had the last available pitch!

Sunday and we rambled around the town, had hot dogs, and chips with mayo for lunch.  We couldn’t quite manage a waffle! We bought some Belgian chocolates (obviously). We visited the Dali museum, where you can even buy signed Dali works (a little beyond our budget!)

Monday and it was a lap of the town on the bikes and then into town for a lunch at De Beurze on the corner of Markt. We had traditional beef stew and chips with a Kwak beer served in a distinctive long glass with a bulb at the bottom.  

Then the VR tour of the town – we are becoming big VR fans!  We finished the day with the beer museum, also on Markt with six beers to try after the tour!  It was quite a wobbly cycle ride back to the mothership! We’ve put a Trappist brewery on the map – hopefully we can fit it in later on the tour.