Picking up from where I left off yesterday, we left the cabin at 6:30 and headed once again for the Diamond Lounge for pre dinner drinks. It was much quieter last night as the first dinner sitting had already left and our drinks steward Fernando was constantly in attendance frequently topping our glasses to the extent I had no idea how many glasses I’d consumed.
We once again enjoyed the company of new friends and stayed until it was time to eat. It was a formal evening and I have to say the dress code was pretty much respected by everyone, there were the few exceptions but it was generally a good show by all.
We arrived at Zeebrugge just after 9:00 local time and took breakfast in the Windjammer which was virtually empty when we arrived. It soon filled up but we were pretty much done by then so I would say we had our timing spot on today.
One grumble I have is I really can’t see the logic in having two time zones, it confuses the hell out of us at times, in particular when you have to get on and off the ship.
Anyway back to today, we have visited Zeebrugge on two previous occasions but have never ventured into Bruges itself so today we decided to put that right. With a little bit of research prior to sailing we eventually decided to pre-book coach shuttle tickets with a company called Cruise Express. A return ticket costing just €20 per person and all we had to do was just get to the pickup point. This was achieved by simply hopping on the free shuttle from the ship which drops you at the port gates and then a very short walk to the bus stop. From there it was a 30 minute ride to the drop off and pick up point. We timed our arrival with one of the ships coaches and all of a sudden there was this funny sort of race being run with 80 or so people all heading into town.
We spent about 3½ hours all told wandering around the must see sights and found it a really pleasant place to visit. One place that we paid entry into was called Historium which is a historical-experience attraction that takes you back in time to the Golden Age of Bruges.
They cleverly take you back to medieval Bruges using cinematic sets, with music and special effects that take you through a love story, based on Jan Van Eyck’s painting ‘Virgin and Child. It’s all very well done and we very much enjoyed the experience.
There are chocolate, lace & beer shops a plenty and we eventually caved in and parted with a few Euros in exchange for some of the local chocolate. Very hard to say no and the longer you are there the weaker your resistance becomes.
After that we had a spot of lunch before gently wandering back to the coach pick up spot and we were fortunate to just catch the 3:00 bus.
Back on board before 3:45 where we enjoyed some down time prior to our last night onboard.
We have to be off by 8:30 tomorrow morning so it won’t be a late night.