Belgium
Arrondissement de Tournai

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement de Tournai. Discover travel destinations in Belgium of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

7 travelers at this place:

  • Day786

    Tournai & Poppy's vet check

    August 21, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We are amongst 20 or so other vans in Tournai's official stellplatz, a substantial, slightly run down, concrete car park that also acts as a truck stop. It is once again a return visit, having stayed here for one night in late November. Despite being well away from the road the background thrum of traffic is constant because Tournai is a large urban settlement. Behind us are the extensive, green, playing fields for a big, red brick secondary school. Every now and then a whistle blows or kids yell encouragement to their team mates.

    We arrived after a drive of 215km, broken up by a lunch stop at motorway services, where Vicky shooed yet more ants from the van. Fingers crossed, their numbers do seem to be diminishing. Tournai isn't the most scenic of spots but it does have a good number of vets and Poppy needs her checkup and echinococcus (worming) tablets before our ferry crossing on Friday, to satisfy the terms of the Pet Passport scheme. A vet needs to examine her and ensure she has recieved a treatment for worms between 120 hours and 24 hours prior to crossing. We'd previously had a very successful consultation with a veterinarian here, but when calling ahead to book, had learned that she was on holiday. A quick search of google maps told us there were lots of other clinics close by and we chose one outside the ringroad for easy access, making an appointment for 11am.

    Nearing the stopover we visited an Intermarché supermarket and picked up some more low fibre foods for Will's pre-hospital diet. We then found a spot at the stopover and holed up for the evening. Come morning we left with the drinking water at 100% and empty waste tanks. Arriving at the vets in plenty of time we parked on the street and had a quick look around the small Wednesday market up the road. Vicky guided Will past the colourful fruit and veg stalls (he isn't allowed any at the moment) and on to the cheese trailer. Its produce looked mouthwateringly good and it even had a decent range of bio (organic) choices. We bought a couple of small wedges then fetched Poppy for her consultation.

    The clinic comprised the ground floor of a terraced house and we rang the bell to gain entry, only for it to be answered by an extremely flustered young vet exclaiming that it was impossible to see us now or even in half an hour. She already had two patients waiting and it was only her. We tried explaining that we had an appointment but she already knew this and was trying to turn us away! We didn't back down and she finally said we could return at midday. More than a little put out and worried, we returned a confused Poppy to the van and went for another look around the market to mull over our options. We could drive 70km to another vets we knew and attend an afternoon drop-in session, we could call round other vets in Tournai and see if they had any last minute appointments or we could wait and see if this vet was able to fit us in. Poppy didn't need treatment as such, just a check, some worming tablets and a stamp in her passport, so we decided to wait around for our noon appointment.

    At 12 o'clock we rang the bell once again and to our great relief the waiting room was empty and the vet beckoned us in. Once she had finished on the phone she apologised sincerely. She looked as if she had just graduated vet school and it turned out the other practitioner was on holiday, leaving her to be vet, veterinary nurse, receptionist and secretary all in one. No wonder she had seemed frazzled! She got on with checking the passport and Poppy, asking us lots of questions about her health and when we were travelling. Luckily Vicky speaks a reasonable amount of French so was able to answer most queries. At the end of the session Poppy ate her tablets (cleverly disguised as bone shaped treats) and the passport was handed back to us with the necessary sections complete. It cost a total of €38, which was less than we usually pay. It was only once we were driving away that Will realised she hadn't checked Poppy's microchip. She has two because a previous one stopped functioning. We just hope this one does its job at the port on Friday!
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  • Day512

    Tournai, Poppy gets her passport ready

    November 20, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    Tournai is a large and busy town. It offered us a free aire to one side of a spacious, crater pocked car park used by lorries. A few hundred meters away was a football pitch and in the opposite direction ran a fast and noisy road. The hum of engines wasn't too bad, but we drowned it out completely by listening to a Belgian music station on the radio. We like to hear foreign languages spoken, even if we can't understand what is being said. All of the countries we've visited so far have played English language songs and most have interspersed their commentary with the odd English phrase.

    In contrast to the fine bright day we'd had yesterday, today delivered grey skies and sheet rain. Will suprised Vicky by volunteering to go out and get bread and when we'd finished eating, Vicky called a nearby vets to get Poppy's passport sorted. We were still in a French speaking area and Vicky got a real kick out of being able to arrange the whole thing in French. It was a bit nerve wracking because it is so much more difficult over the phone when there are no contextual clues, gestures or facial expressions to help.

    At 11:30am we drove Poppy to the clinic. Now she is old she becomes very nervous around other dogs and she has never enjoyed people being too close to her, unless it is on her terms. We were therefore keeping our fingers crossed that it would be a good experience for her. Fortunately there were no other animals to be seen and we'd hardly sat down in the waiting area when the vet called us in. After Poppy had gone on the scales, Vicky stealthily fed her the worming tablet between two treats and the vet gave her a checkup. Within 10 minutes of entering, the passport was stamped, we had paid and were out of the door with a very relieved Poppy! Success!

    N.B. For anyone intersted the vet we used was Dr Claudine Peeters at: http://www.veterinairepeeters.be/
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  • Day175

    Day 176: To Mons via Tournai

    August 9, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Another busy day exploring southern Belgium. Checked out and hopped in the car around 10am and drove directly south to the town of Tournai, close to the French border. Here is another UNESCO site - of course - and another belfry on the list too.

    The cathedral is immense and grand - built in the 12th century in Romanesque style, with a large gothic nave added later. It also has five distinct spires on top that give it a very unique profile. Unfortunately, it's currently undergoing heavy restoration as it was damaged by a tornado in 1999. The work has been going for 15 years and isn't expected to finish any time soon.

    We went inside as well, but there wasn't much to see other than scaffolding. It also has the problem that its icons were destroyed during the Reformation, its treasures were looted during the French revolution, the stained glass was destroyed by an accidental gunpowder explosion, and of course two world wars were fought in the area as well (only one direct hit from a German bomb in 1944). So I can cut it a bit of slack!

    We walked around and filmed what we could, then decided to check out the belfry. It was a bit different to the other belfries we've visited, since this one was actually a standalone tower. It's really only when you see the solo towers that you realise they're just bell- and watch-towers, rather than religious or secular buildings. Even though most of them are joined to a religious or governmental building!

    Since the belfry was closed during lunchtime, we sat out on the main square in brilliant sunshine and had a delicious burger. Mine was with baked goat's cheese, bacon, caramelised apple slices, salad, and honey BBQ sauce. Incredible. Great vibe in the square as well, it's the height of summer and lots of people are on holidays. We're a long way from the tourist trail here so it's almost entirely Belgians relaxing and enjoying themselves. Also a long way from the gritty neighbourhoods of Antwerp and Brussels!

    Back to the tower exactly when it opened after lunch, and we were the first people to head up, so we had an uninterrupted climb and view. A couple of hundred steps on tight spiral staircases to the top, but we're getting fairly used to this by now! Excellent view across to the cathedral, the city, and the wider district, though it was very narrow and claustrophobic up top - thankfully it was just us and another couple. Finished our filming and headed back to the car.

    We then drove south-east to the city of Mons which is our base for the next couple of days. More world heritage sites in the area, and of course the town has one last belfry to look at! We settled into our hotel in the old town, with a view of the (standalone) belfry - it's situated on top of a hill so it tends to dominate the town. We decided to just relax for the rest of the day and settle ourselves in.

    Shandos grabbed us a baguette and some jambon et fromage so we made our own dinner in the hotel room. Headed out later in the evening to wrap up our belfry tour by filming at the base, but it was closed and we couldn't get too close. Oh well. Filmed a bit anyway through the fence and then headed home.
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  • Day4

    Aalst und Tournai

    February 11, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Heute haben wir den Karnevalsumzug in Aalst besucht. Das war sehr überraschend. Unzählige und fantasievolle Fussgruppen und Wagen mit unglaublich fantasievollen Motiven und Kostümen. Danach ging es weiter nach Tournai auf einen grossen Parkplatz am Rande der Stadt zum Übernachten. Nicht schön aber praktisch.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Tournai, Arrondissement Doornik

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