What a fabulous cruise we are having! After leaving you on tenterhooks last post with a promise to take you to Jabekke, not only have we been there but we have ended up in Iepers (Ypres), or indeed Wipers as the brave Tommy’s in WWI christened this charming, sad and poignant town in northern Belgium.
Our plans have had to change slightly. We were hoping to get to Veurne having heard good reports from fellow boaters, but unfortunately someone in charge of some bits of machinery and a group of workers has decided to order repairs and the consequent closure of a bridge in the middle of Veurne until January, which means that we can no longer get to the city. However Plan B is now in operation – Bruges-Iepers-Bruges with a few stops on the way.
After visiting Jabekke for a short overnight stay where we sampled a beer or two and did some essential shopping (cheese and cake), we made our way steadily to Diksmuide.
I had never heard of Diksmuide before planning our trip even though it was an area of huge importance during the Great War and also, on a lighter note, recognised for it’s superb butter and cheese!
I took us 3 days easy (3 hours) cruising to reach the moorings at Diksmuide, with stops at Jabbeke and Leffingbruge on the way. We ended up mooring for 2 nights at Leffingbrug as we managed to get on a lovely new pontoon next to the lift bridge with easy access to the village. In there was a very pretty church and a bar which we visited on the second night for a beer and a lovely steak followed by Damme Blanch – which is basically 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, loads of whipped cream and hot chocolate sauce – what’s not to like?
It looks like a bit of a habit is developing, because at Jabekke, our previous mooring, a visit to the bar next to our boat also resulted in ice cream, cream and chocolate sauce, this time though, preceded by an exceptional Flemish beef stew. Nicola exhibited little will power and also succumbed to dessert after here fish pie.
On the 3rd September we upped sticks and made our way to Diksmuide, calling the moorings in the city centre to book two slots as we left. Diksmuide had lots going for it, as you will find out next post.