The highlight of today was not what we did but who we did it with: We met up with the lovely Canadian family from our Egypt tour.
It may well be that we and “The Canadians”, as the boys like to refer to them, live about as far away from each other as its possible to get in the world. Sydney is in the further reaches of the Southern Hemisphere and they live just South of the Arctic Circle in Canada. In fact according to the web, we live 13,511.39km away from each other in normal times. So crossing paths with them in Egypt was lucky. To find them staying with relatives 20 minutes away from Brugge was serendipity.
The kids all settled in to running round like lunatics within seconds of seeing each other. The fact that Brugge’s streets are relatively pedestrian friendly was all that saved us from a serious accident as four kids managed to impersonate a hyperactive football team. Cal and Dec really needed to see some other kids, and to be able to pick up where they’d left of with the delightful Allie and Mia was just wonderful.
We did a bit more wandering around Brugge, had waffles for lunch in a restaurant on the main square and went for a boat ride around the canals.
It is hard not to get overwhelmed by the age of the houses as your guide points out one built in the 15th Century over there, one from the 12th Century here and, oh, a modern one from the 17th Century over beside the bridge. And almost all the buildings are still in use today. For example, there’s a lovely row of 16th Century almshouses on one of the streets that today are run by the local government as homes for old people. Over 500 years of charitable use is an enviable record.
Lovely though the boat trip was, my enduring memory of it is going to be the four kids loudly singing “There’s a zombie on my lawn”. Ah, the cultural experience of travel…