5th May 2017. Bergues, France.

It is a very quiet and restful place to stay.It is a very quiet and restful place to stay.We had intended leaving reasonably early this morning but true to form we didn’t leave until 13.00.  As my sister Debs and niece Lauren predicted before we left the UK this should indeed have been renamed the “Faffing About Tour”.

Our journey didn’t start out too well, we drove into a petrol station to fill up only to discover we couldn’t get to the pump because someone had parked badly.  Unfortunately the petrol station was on a junction where major road works were taking place, it was a duel carriageway and our only way out was sending us in the wrong direction.

The traffic on the road we had left was moving through the road works quickly but the road we were going to have to return on to had a huge tail back.  D’Oh!  However it all turned out alright in the end, we decided to carry on the way we were going rather than sit in traffic and we found a cheap petrol station to fill up in then we went round the block, which took us through the centre of Aalter so we got to see that too before we returned to the junction on the correct road that we’d left 15 minutes previously.  It was well worth it, I’m sure we would have been sitting in the traffic jam for much longer than that.

At around 3.00 p.m. we came to a town called Lo-Reninge in Belgium which had a pretty square, as we hadn’t had lunch we took the opportunity to stop for food and to have a quick look around.

There was pandemonium when we got to the square, a double decker coach was parked there and what seemed liked hundreds of children in florescent jackets were milling around.  I caught the eye of one of the ‘helpers’ and smiled, I had been a ‘helper’ on a lot of school trips over the years, it’s quite stressful keeping your eye on your charges all day especially when you’re outside.

In the UK each ‘helper’ is only allowed to have a small group of children, this poor woman was busy herding children from inside the restaurant where they were queuing to use the toilet, to a crossing on a reasonably busy road.  Once on the other side of the road they were wandering over to the coach but in the short journey from the restaurant to the crossing there was lots of jostling and mucking around from the children.  The good thing about this for us was that it showed us that the restaurant, Gasthof De Zwaan BVBA, was open so we went in for food and watched this poor woman continue with her task for a good 15 stressful minutes before all the children were safely on the coach.  No doubt she breathed a sigh of relief when they were all in their seats.

The lady who owned the restaurant was nice and friendly and, luckily for us, spoke English, we ordered coffee which was very good and came with biscuits and a small bar of chocolate, which was a nice surprise (actually that’s an understatement, seeing those goodies made our day!).  When she came over to take our order she told us that her husband was busy in the kitchen so the only thing on the menu was half a chicken, salad and fries.   We mentioned that I don’t eat meat or fish, which she found a bit hard to comprehend but she asked whether I would have a salad.

The food that arrived was great.  My salad was huge and very colourful and Darren’s meal was equally as large (was that half an ostrich on his plate?) then she brought over a large bowl of french fries with mayonnaise!  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and as we waddled around the town square afterwards we gave ourselves a ‘pat on the back’ for choosing it.

We quickly popped into a grocer’s to buy some eggs and then into the baker’s which had a very space age door, it was like part of the window which swished quietly open and closed.  As we were leaving the baker’s we noticed there was a vending machine two doors up where you could buy bread from the bakery!  What a fantastic idea.

We drove on to our stop Bergues, France.

The council had provided a large aire beside the fortified town.  We hadn’t expected our stop to provide us with entertainment too but nevertheless it did.  Not long after we’d arrived we saw a van drive in but instead of going to one of the many empty pitches further into the air he decided to squeeze in beside the bins facing the motorhome that was already parked in the space there.  We were intrigued as to why, with all the space available, he went to such great pains to manoeuvre his van into a space that clearly wasn’t a parking place and also meant he was face to face with the other van!  Bizarre behaviour!

We went for a short walk round the town, there are some very grand buildings in the town and part of the ramparts are still there, having spent time in the beautiful fortified town of Naarden http://hartfree-bright.co.uk/30th-april-naarden-netherlands/ which is clearly loved and looked after it seemed sad to see graffiti on the old buildings and statues, there was so much history there but it seemed uncared for.

We found a nice cafe in the town square where we had some very nice ice cream, it would definitely have been in our top 3 of our ice cream chart if it hadn’t been so expensive.

There was a huge giant figure outside the Town Hall, we think it is to do with the elections but couldn’t be sure, my French translation isn’t that good!

We had a nice wander round the town and back to the van.

I do like Bergues, it is a very quiet and restful place to stay with beautiful buildings AND a great ice cream shop, what more could you ask for.

Click the link below for restaurant Gasthof de Zwaan BVBA:


Click the link below for motorhome stopover at Aire de camping car de Bergues:


Click the link below for Café De La Poste: