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Published: April 16th 2010
Map of the Citadel
We covered about 20% of the area.
We paid in advance for our breakfast at the Casino Hotel and at 12€ we expected a lot since our wonderful feast last night was much less than that. We had a basic breakfast with bread, cheese, cereal, a little bacon, some eggs and some mushrooms. I think good advice will be to rather not have breakfast at your hotel, if they charge this much. We paid half the price for double the breakfast in Dublin.
Our adventure for today was exploring the Citadel! The Citadel is huge and we approached it from just behind the Hotel Beauregard, by doing this we missed the actual mapped out walking paths, but we did walk the scenic route through the beautiful green “forest” that surrounds the Citadel. We walked along a windy dirt road all the way to the top and the view is breathtaking, yet eerie! It’s around 08h00 and there is no one around. There are no cars driving around, no people walking around and even the shops and restaurants are still closed. Except for one other lady and 3 cars that were racing up and down the roads leading to and from
Namur from Citadel
If we lived here, we would have been able to see our house from here.
the citadel. At one point we suspected that it might be the three guys from Top Gear! They were driving expensive sports cars like maniacs!
We explored the whole citadel from top to bottom, we wanted to see the perfume shop, to create our unique perfumes, en see the whole process, but when we got there the board said it only opens at 10h00, by now it was just before then and obvious that the factory shop will not be open by 10h00 and since we had a tight schedule to keep, we went back to the hotel, grabbed our packs and headed from our next destination, Bruges!
When we got to Bruges, we decided to rather take a bus to our hotel, since it’s hard to figure out the distances on the map, we could be either very far of very close to our hotel. In the end it’s obvious we were really close. It’s basically 15 min walk from the hotel to “the far end” of the places on any tourists list of things to see and do. We know this because our bus took us on a detour of about half an hour, it seems
that the bus only stops at bus stop if there is someone waiting at the stop, or if he hears the bell you ring for him to stop, which in our case he didn’t. He drove past our stop, but assured us he’ll drop us on the way back to the station. Only when we arrived at the hotel did we realized how close we are to everything, we could easily see the big ferris wheel that was right by the train station from our room.
We have to absolutely rave about how wonderful the Montavani Hotel is!
The staff is kind and helpful, the rooms are neat and newly decorated and the dining area is simply charming! The hotel is family run and that might be what gives it that extra special touch. It’s obvious that the owners are not just running a business, but that they love the hotel.
We had the absolute best room imaginable. Actually it’s more like our own loft apartment/penthouse. When you get to the 2nd floor of the hotel and walk down the hallway to the end and open the room door, you are met with another small staircase that leads
into our attic room. We are the only people on this level; it’s like a well equipped tree house. The room has a huge bathroom that is neat, clean and cozy without the “sterilized hospital bathroom” feel like we had in some of the previous hotels. Our room is huge and consists of a bedroom area with a queen size bed and space for all our baggage. The other part of the open plan area is the lounge area, with a couch a TV and a bar fridge. The modern decoration gives the feeling of a fancy bachelors’ flat. Since it’s the top floor the large windows were set in the sloping roof, so you can stand and lean out of the window and touch the roof tiles.
We immediately headed for mini bar fridge in the room for a Jupiler beer, only to later find that it’s charged at more than double the price of what it would be if we just bought it at the shop, so decide to just replace it later. Since it was still early (before 3pm) we decided not to waste any time and to go explore the place a bit to orientate
ourselves as to where everything is. First we walked down the road and over the canal to Markt Plein, on our way we saw a rather big carnival in action, with all kinds of rides and food stall and games. The atmosphere was very festive and the people and music were very upbeat and happy. We explored this side of town while actually being on the hunt for some basic supplies like nail clipper, contact lens water and toothpaste.
We were still looking into every shop window when we suddenly realized we have walked right into Markt Plein, recognizing it from the movie “In Bruges”. In the centre of the square is a big statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck surrounded by all the 12th till 15th century buildings. There are lots of street cafés or restaurants with brightly coloured umbrellas, and people enjoying their drinks and meals. There were a couple of horse carriages carrying tourists in and around the plein, some of the horses were plain looking but others were really big with fluffy hair from about their knees to the ground. They were really gorgeous.
After getting to know the streets and area
A tilt-shift edit on our photo.
a little we bought some beer, cold drinks and water at one of the little shops and headed back to the area where the carnival was still going on. We browsed around the carnival for something to eat, it seems like they want to deep fry everything so we were trying to find something that at least looks a bit healthier. One of the sweet treats we saw a lot was called Oliebollen, they look like doughnuts without the holes covered in icing sugar. For a late lunch we decided on a “biekie cheese burger” for Leon and a hotdog for Melinda. The hog sausage tasted a bit like a deep fried sausage from a can, but the food was quite alright. For dessert we had vanilla and chocolate ice cream in a sugar cone. After the meal we were a bit exhausted and walked back to the hotel for a nap before dinner.
For dinner we went back to the carnival that as still going at full steam into the night. We got two more biekie cheese burgers and chips smothered in hot english mustered and took it back to the hotel to eat there before going to bed.
Sometimes you underestimate english mustard.
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