Dec 6


Today was a WW1 free day and the group was off to Brugge for the day using the trains. It was to be my day off however Lorraine and I were looking after Hayley in terms of hospital visits. We went to the shops to get her a few things including a teddy to keep her company and to cheer her up. Lorraine, after a very late night, went out at lunch time to be with Hayley then I swapped with her in the afternoon until 7.00 at night. My laptop and some internet connection and Hayley was onto facebook and catching up with her family and friends at home. Considering she had an operation the previous night she was doing remarkably well however it was apparent that sleep was beckoning her by 6.30. I snuck out of the room with a goodbye note and left for the hotel. Meanwhile the group in Brugge was having a wonderful time. I will leave it up to them to recount their day in this gorgeous Flemish town.
Today we had a free day in Brugge. I climbed all 350 plus steps in the bell tower to reach the top and ended up with a great view of fog all around the city. We could barely see the buildings straight   below us. The footpaths were uneven and very slippery.
We went to Brugge today, a city that was very old and also quite crowded. Anny gave us a tour from the train station to the centre of the town where we climbed the tower which supposedly had a great view from the top. However fog soon changed that. I had a lovely meal at an Italian restaurant which cost a fair bit. We then went ice skating which was so much fun. Lachy taught me how to step without falling over and without grabbing the side too much. The highlight of the day was to see Lachy the skating champion, actually fall over!
Anny showed us around a nunnery and to the river before letting us loose in the town. Brugge is a beautiful old medieval town with cobblestone roads and footpaths. They definitely need to define the roads and footpaths better as you couldn’t tell if we were on the road or the path!
Today was our free day in Brugge. Yet again with an early start to the day with everyone ready to go to the train by 7.50 a.m. It was two train rides (Ieper- Kortrijk-Brugge) to our destination. I enjoyed myself and did a spot of shopping and went ice skating. What a wonderful day.
Another great day spent in Brugge, this time mostly spent with Flo and Amanda, giving them priceless advice about shopping etc. They couldn’t have managed it without me, I am sure!!!! A week or so earlier I had arranged to catch up with Patrick who was Hamish and my host parent during the billeting part of the 2006 trip. I wasn’t entirely sure of when I would get time to meet him so when I gave such short notice I thought it might be too hard to arrange. Thankfully he was able to arrange it and by coincidence was on the train that we caught in Kortrijk on the way home, so we were able to catch up while travelling to Ieper. He then shared a meal with us before leaving for Gent, his new home town, over an hours train journey away. It seemed like yesterday that I last saw him and when you consider that we have actually only seen each other 3 times, it is a close friendship across the globe. Thank you Patrick for making the effort to visit us.

To December 7th