Spring Trip 2015 - Part 3/3 : Belgium

Discussion in 'Belguim Netherlands' started by magicsurfbus, May 7, 2015.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

    Oct 11, 2010
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    NW England
    Part the Third: Belgium

    For the final part of the trip we made a last-minute detour into Belgium, but not for WW1 heritage on this occasion.

    Day 18 - Drove from Delft and visited the Waterloo battlefield centre - I'll be very surprised if they get that ugraded in time for the bicentennial in June - it currently resembles a building site but all the usual bits are on offer. Original plan was to park overnight in the adjoining P2 car park, as per the advice in the CCI website, but centre staff said it wasn't permitted and Police routinely checked the area. That said, someone had overnighted in a MH on one of the newer car parks just down the lane so it's anyone's guess at present. Got a couple of campsite addresses from the visitor centre but one of them turned out to be a run-down statics only site so we didn't bother trying the second. Instead we ended up at one mentioned on CCI at Huizingen (Camping Oasis) - blink and you'll miss the entrance, it's in a residential area and the signpost for the narrow track is tiny. The old boy who runs the site let us park on a bit of hard standing for the night (15 Euros) but I couldn't see many vacant pitches - most of the caravans looked permanent.

    Day 19 - Early start and straight back down the R0 to the Carrefour at Saint Jean du Mont (near Waterloo) for the Sunday flea market. In hindsight we probably could have overnighted there as it was doubtless full of traders' vehicles by late Saturday evening. Did the flea market in the morning then drove up to Camping Grimbergen, about 5 miles north of the Expo area in Brussels - it's a neat medium-sized site, but with no access between 11:30 and 14:00 because the warden likes his long lunchtime. Then we went into Brussels to visit the Atomium, which I loved. It was like being inside one of those drawings of the city of the future from a 1960s comic. Absolutely unique - a sort of atomic age Eiffel Tower, and built for similar reasons. We'll use the campsite again for a longer trip to the city.

    Day 20 - Drove up to Calais, got some fresh air on the beach at Sangatte then did the Cite Europe beer & wine pilgrimage and stopped overnight in their car park just to compare notes with the other local spots. No problems apart from some knobhead in a 6 wheeler running his generator all bloody night. Even halfway across the car park it was loud enough to be annoying once the rain had stopped. Both the town aires were still open but the municipal campsite has been flattened for redevelopment.

    Day 21 - Home via the ferry. Some delays at the port entrance due to roaming migrants looking for free rides to England. At least one had his beady eye on my roof but I gave him my teacherly stare and hovered my hand very obviously over the horn so he got the message. Police were in evidence and some trucks were pulled over for close inspection. If the left hand car/bus lane gets snarled up due to this use the right hand truck lane all the way to the port gate. A quicker alternative might be to use the 'back' gate via the town centre, which your SatNav will take you to if you use either of the the town aires.

    That's all for now folks - plenty of food for thought on this trip. We'll definitely be back to all three countries in future.

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