van life europe

Van Life Day 2 | Belgium

(Written in June 2014)

The channel crossing on the tunnel was a breeze, and before we knew it we were in Calais. We headed north with Bruges in mind for our first stop over; we ended up driving to Blankenberge a few kilometres outside of Bruges and walking along the sea front that evening, laughing at the surround sound gasps and cheers drifting out of the bars as the Belgium V Russia match was being shown. We moved a little out of the town and found a quiet side street next to a tree-lined field of cows where we spent our first night abroad watching the sunset and planning the next day.

Not having a particular parking place in mind we ended up driving through the centre of Bruges and realising that parking in the city centre wasn’t as easy as it seemed. A residential area a good walk from the centre was where we ended up leaving the van, and eventually made it into the market square in time for lunch on a bench surrounded by tourists. Not having internet on our phones anymore meant we were overjoyed to find free wifi in the square, allowing us to contact people for a brief moment. 

The rest of the day consisted of strolling through Bruges, what a wonderful place! Tourist boats go through the canals, lace shops are found on every street, and we saw more than one VW ice cream van. We indulged in some ice cream (not from a VW van sadly); banana for Theo and pistachio for Bee, next to a large lace map of Bruges. 

After walking for miles and enjoying beautiful Bruges we headed off to a free campersite we found on the Camper Contact app (fantastic app if you’re looking for somewhere to stay) on the outskirts of Heide, near Antwerp. On the way there we stopped off at a Texaco garage that had showers (joy!) for 50c, a lifesaver when there’s two of you living in a van in the summer.