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.