Danielle and Co travels

I love to travel and experience new things. I enjoy holidaying with family and friends and am up for new adventures.
Living in: Melbourne, Australia
  • Day28

    Brussels to see the sights

    Yesterday in Belgium

    We headed off to see the sights of Brussels late morning. We went via Paulette’s place so that I could drop my luggage off as I will be staying with Paulette for a couple of nights before I head home early Tuesday morning. Paulette is pretty close to the airport so much easier to get a taxi from here. The centre of Brussels was very quiet and uncrowded when we got there which was pleasing for us. Once we parked the car we decided to look for a place to have lunch and settled on an Italian Restaurant called Italian Sun. We both ordered pizza and of course we also had a carafe of rosé, a very nice wine in this warm weather. The pizza was delicious one of the best I have had for some time, Brigitte was also very happy with her choice. After lunch we walked through some lovely narrow streets and we must have passed about 50 Chocolate stores they were everywhere. We then headed to the Grand Place that was as lovely as I remembered but even Better in the sunshine and it also looked like the buildings had been recently cleaned. I am so glad I had the chance to come to the centre of this lovely city.

    We then headed out to Paulette’s place where we caught up with Nathalie and her family. Brigitte had brought over the Sticky Date Pudding and we had that for afternoon tea and it was a hit with everyone except for Sohan, Nathalie’s son. Sohan and his Dad played in the pool while we sat around talking and just relaxing (but no wine).

    I had to say goodbye to Brigitte which was a bit sad as we have had a wonderful week just hanging out, having fun and laughing a lot- and drinking a fair amount of wine! Brigitte said this is fine as we are on holidays.

    Tonight Paulette is cooking a rack of lamb, roast potatoes, stuffed tomatoes and green beans followed by a salad and then strawberries for dessert. Lucky I will only be here for a couple of days because if we ate like this all the time I would have to do about 30,000 steps not to gain weight!
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  • Day27

    We decided to wait until tomorrow to head in to the centre of Brussels, as today is a public holiday and the centre would be packed. This means I have had some free time to catch up on my blog. Over our holiday we have seen some very humorous and silly signs, so I decided to include them in the next couple of entries. Some are train station stops, restaurants, stores, and some are just signs that made us laugh!Read more

  • Day27

    Belgium's National Holiday

    July 21 in Belgium

    Today we had a bit of a relaxing day - everything was closed and more than 2 million people went to Brussels for all the celebrations. Brigitte and I had talked about going to Ghent and also about going into Brussels but Ghent currently has a Jazz Festival and it would be too crowded and so we decided to stay home and go to the City tomorrow. So this afternoon we made a sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce, Brigitte had never heard of this dish and was interested to try it out so Ian sent me the recipe and we made it.

    Brigitte then made spaghetti sauce for our dinner. Not having much to do allowed me to catch up with my blog and get it nearly up to date. We had a lovely dinner last night and made plans to go to the city centre tomorrow so that I can see the Grand Place in summer.
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  • Day26

    Lunch with Family

    July 20 in Belgium

    Today we have been invited to have lunch at Gui and Geertje’s. We were due there at 12.30 pm but unfortunately, due to a big car accident, we again had to divert and take a different way to their place. My aunt Paulette and their daughter Lisa also attended, which was lovely. We had drinks out in the garden with nibbles, and then a Nigella Lawson pasta for lunch. We then had a traditional Belgian dessert - Cheese Tart - which was delicious. It was lovely to catch up with Gui and Geertje, as this was the only opportunity as they head off on holidays tomorrow. Lisa said she might be interested in travelling to Australia, so hopefully she will come in the next couple of years. Lisa has recently returned from 7 months in South America, so I think she has the travel bug like her younger brother Rob. We had a lovely afternoon, but it was all over too quickly - it is so nice to catch up with family.Read more

  • Day25

    Le Touquet - Paris Plage

    July 19 in Belgium

    We left Marquise and headed for Le Touquet - Paris Plage which is about 35kms away. Such a beautiful town, with lots of pedestrian only streets, beautiful architecture, lovely houses, shops and restaurants and on the sea. It reminds me of the south of France without the heat and crowds - a real little gem. Brigitte did remind me that in August it will be much busier as this is when the French and other Europeans traditionally take holidays.

    We discovered a sculpture exhibition dotted around the town called the Big Foot Family Collection by self-taught artist Aidan Zareski, an Israeli French guy who now lives in Miami. We loved his work, but unfortunately due to the cars and Brigitte’s injured calf muscle we couldn’t get to all of them.

    We then found this lovely store called Atelier where they make beautiful ceramics. It is a family business - the mother and father make the ceramics and their son sells it. They used to have a store in Sydney, but the business grew too quickly so they have reduced what they do.

    We then had lunch at a lovely crepe restaurant, and again had a 0.5 litre of rosé with the meal. I have become quite accustomed to a glass or two with meals these days!

    After lunch we walked around a bit more before heading back to Brussels. While we were still in France, Brigitte saw on her GPS a change of route notification telling us to get off the highway. Lucky we listened, as we heard later that day that there had been a huge accident that closed the highway in both directions for several hours. A van had changed lanes without indicating or looking, and ran a group of English motorcyclists off the road. One dead, one in a very serious condition, three others in hospital and another six or eight with minor injuries. The GPS then took us on this roundabout route, which meant we saw some more lovely small French villages before making our way back to the highway and getting home. We arrived home about 7pm and had a quiet evening.
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  • Day24

    Checked into our accommodation for tonight, and had a bit of a rest after our busy day. We headed down for dinner just after seven, and had a three course meal for 19 Euro, which is very reasonable and it was very good. We had a lovely French wine to go with it, which was also very reasonably priced. Brigitte had a vol au vent with seafood for entree, and I had the Provençal vol au vent with ham and mushrooms. For main Brigitte ordered the beef and I had confit duck, and for dessert we both had the house specialty of Profiteroles with ice-cream and chocolate sauce. Everything was delicious and they bake everything on site, including the vol au vent pastry cases. We had a walk around the grounds after dinner, and then headed to our rooms for a quiet evening as tomorrow we have a full day planned.Read more

  • Day24

    Wimereux, France

    July 18 in Belgium

    As we can’t get into our hotel until after 4pm, we next stopped at the lovely town of Wimereux. We both needed to go to the bathroom, but they really don’t have public toilets so you have to stop at a bar, order a drink, and then use their facilities. We stopped and sat on the terrace (in the shade) to have a drink - Brigitte a shandy and me a glass of rosé - perfect on a warm day. Sitting near us was an elderly woman, drinking a wine, doing the crossword with a cigar hanging out of her mouth - only in France would you see such a sight!

    We then walked around the town a bit, bought a few mementos, tasted and bought some fabulous chocolate, and then made our way to Marquise and the Chateau de Ledquent, our home for the night.
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  • Day24

    Cap Gris and Cap Nez

    July 18 in Belgium

    On our way to our Chateau, we stopped at some lovely beaches along the way. As it was a clear day, you could see the coast of England across the English Channel - it is only 24kms away. While we drove around we also saw lots of memorials to WWII, which is what I would expect as we we’re quite close to Dunkirk.

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