Saturday, 14 September 2013

A quick stop in Belgium

Monday 19th August 2013

At this point in our trip we were not quite sure what to do next. The short version of the story is that Adam is waiting to hear if some work is available in America on a two month contract that could bring us some more money to travel on if all goes to plan. However the firm are still in talks about the contract so nothing is confirmed yet, they just know that Adam is available to work at short notice. The downside is that we don't know if/when this is happening. Our plan before this was to start the trip in the Netherlands, go down through France, hopefully over to Germany for a little bit and then onto Italy for the later months of the year. Only problem we have now is we don't want to get all the way to Italy to have to turn around to get ready to go to America. With a few emails back and forth we have decided not to put any plans on hold and if they need us we will have the appropriate amount of time to return.

With that sorted then we have decided to make a quick stop in Belgium, get to the south of France for some sunshine, visit Sainte Foy in the Alps, where we did our ski season, as we'd like to see what the mountains look like in the summer, and then get the ferry from Genoa, northern Italy, to Palermo, Sicily, and drive up through Italy. That should take us up to about October/beginning of November. Then we'll decide on what to do over winter, to ski season or not to ski season?!

So back to our few days in Belgium. We got to Antwerp and with a little research found that a lot of vans park for free on the quay-side of the river Scheldt. This was found easily and we walked into the city center. We found a festival going on in the square outside the cathedral with a brass band playing and lots of ladies dancing in what looked like home made colourful outfits. There was one heavily pregnant lady that danced and marched past us nearly all afternoon, not dispirited by the drizzle!

Band and dancers
We found a hidden street that had been mostly untouched since the 1500's, behind a big wooden door, and home to a veery expensive restaurant. It was really pretty. We had a pizza as the band and dancers paraded past us every 15 minutes. The next day we went back in to buy some chocolates and went on a flip flop shopping mission as ours were braking. Only Adam was successful though. Mia got to try a Belgian waffle though.

1500's street

1500's door and Antwerp cathedral

There was a beeeautiful sunset the night before we left and today we crossed the border to France, ready to make our way down the twisty roads to the Alps. I'm actually really excited to see mountains again!

Sunset in Antwerp

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