Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Home from Belgium

We have been away for a few weeks. Because of the health problems last year, we were unable to make our usual late autumn visit back to Belgium, so it really was time to do so. I didn't fancy the queuing up at airports, not to mention the getting up at unearhly hours of the morning in order to catch a plane with a take-off time of 06:30, yes six-thirty in the morning and you're supposed to check in a couple of hours beforehand. Instead, we planned on driving up, but on taking our time in doing so.

And that's just what we did.

The first night, we stopped in Tarragona, after an easy drive of some 500 Km. Then on to Montauban, aother 500 Km or so, an a night at a chambre d'hôtes (not wonderful, given the price). We had hoped to visit a few bastide towns in the area, but the weather was really bad—cold and wet—so we had a hot chocolate in one and drove on to Sorges, supposedly the truffle centre of the world, where we spent two nights in the wonderful Auberge de la Truffe, a place that was right up SWMBO's street. Food, glorious food (says she). An extensive evening meal upon our arrival on Friday evening, a visit on Saturday morning after breakfast to the market of Périgueux, in the company of the chef (not SWMBO, but the actual chef of the Auberge), dinner that same evening, breakfast on Sunday morning, followed by a visit to the truffle museum, and a final two-hour-long lunch to send us on our way.

And our way took us to Senlis, just past Paris, where we stayed the night before proceeding the following morning to our apartment in Belgium.

Surprisingly, the weather in Belgium was much better than we had anticipated from the horror stories we had heard during the months leading up to our departure. Indeed, we had several sunny days, with balmy temperatures, so nothing to complain about, even if the general impression was rather grey.

Anyway, thanks must go to Marleen and Danny, Robert and Godelieve, Jean-Pierre and Rita, Christiane, Frans and Marie-Christine, Jan and Nicole, Luc and Monique, and anyone I might have forgotten, for making us feel welcome once again in Belgium.

Our journey back to Spain followed a similar path (excluding Montauban), though we made a slight detour in order to be able to visit Oradour-sur-Glane, the village destroyed in 1944 by German troops, who also killed 642 civilian inhabitants. The day was dull and miezerig, but that suited the sombreness of the place, where the ruins still stand, many with household effects still in them: almost each house seems to have a sewing-machine. I have made a small website about our visit to Oradour-sur-Glane; you can visit it here.