One of my favourite places and with a site for me to stay next to the marina and coach park it could scarcely be easier.
The “No Motorhomes” sign on a central car park is a bit academic as you’d be bonkers to attempt a coach built on these narrow twisting streets. The taxis are mostly Mercedes Vitos so a small van conversion might be possible but we prefer the excellent barrier controlled aire at the main bus station. A ten minute top whack stroll and you are in the middle of the town.
As ever one of the most attractive places on my list of places I like visiting a lot and I was lucky enough in November to choose some cold but bright and sunny days. I always stay at the very well organised spot at the coach park next to the marina which is barely a five minute walk through a small park on the edge of the town and before you know it, you are in amongst it all.
The startling element of this visit however was just how quiet it was – all due to the terrorism threat. One of the restaurants I used said the telephone was ringing non-stop with cancellations and just walking around the streets revealed a semi-empty almost eerie atmosphere. A football match between Bruges and Napoli was on during my visit. Normally it would generate 1500 travelling Italian supporters – not one this year.
I am sure over time things will recover and of course governments rightly have to protect their citizens and warn people to stay away from public transport and large shopping areas as was the warning from the Belgian Prime Minister while I was there. But if we need any reminding, it reminds us of the far reaching effect the fear of terrorism has on us all.
The usually open border between France and Belgium on the main road between Dunkirk and Bruges was far from open. Traffic was taken off via a roundabout in either direction with heavily armed police and soldiers in evidence resulting in an hour’s delay in one direction but fortunately very little returning from Belgium back into France.
Personally I am not going to allow this to reduce my love of travel – but of course I will exercise caution and be on my guard.
Why should I give in to the terrorists?
I have spent this week in Hannover and The Hague and came home via Bruges – still one of my favourite places. In Bruges I always stay at the secure parking area by the main coach station at €15 a night with electric in the low season and a very short five minute walk takes you into the town. Some of course would say Bruges is simply too touristic but I think it gets away with it just fine.
And via The Caravan Club website I secured my lowest ferry fare EVER which was impressive to say the least.
Bruges must be one of the most motorhome friendly cities in the EU!!
There is a huge dedicated parking area within the main coach station down by the river and the marina and – for good measure – there is one part of it where you can stay overnight if the spirit moves you with electricity, waste disposal and fresh water. It is a pay on exit system and whilst not cheap you are paying for the sheer convenience of being in the city.
A ten minute walk through the park from the coach station takes you into the heart of Bruges which is, as we all know, breathtaking in its beauty. Some will doubtless complain that it is a bit too touristic and that is probably true but I can forgive any city anything if it is as motorhome friendly as this one is. And there is Camping Memling two kms out of town if your prefer a traditional, well run site.