We are very fortunate in where we live. The Netherlands is a small country and we are in the south, so it takes us very little time to cross a border or two and be in a different European country. Most of the time we confine ourselves to Belgium for day trips out, but every couple of months, we go to France, or sometimes to Germany.
I was looking through the photos on my little pocket camera the other day and found a bunch that I'd forgotten about. They were taken on one of these days out we took, and this one was a trip just before Christmas when we went to Cambrai for the day.
For those who don't know it, Cambrai is a very charming town in northern France, quite famous historically for being the centre of the League of Cambrai during the sixteenth century, and in the twentieth century for one of World War 1's battles. These days, it maintains grace and charm, but is neither very big nor very important - except to us that is - for it is on a serious waterway route into France and is just one of those places Koos and I like to go to boat watch.
|Zeeland Brug - 5kms long|
From Zeeland, where we spend most weekends (see the great Zeeland bridge above), it takes about two hours to drive to Cambrai. This is very do-able and an easy, pleasant trip. One of its main attractions is the restaurant on the canal side called the Jolly Sailor. This appealing hostelry is run by an Englishman and Frenchman partnership who own a lovely old Dutch barge that they keep moored up in the canal just outside the restaurant. David, the English partner, is an accomplished pianist and singer and loves to entertain the guests during their busy lunch times. Alain, the French side, runs the show, keeps the customers happy and is equally convivial and entertaining in his own way.
|Alain from the Jolly Sailor and Koos|
We love going there even though we rarely eat much, but it feels like such an occasion. Since we can also finish off with a lovely walk along the canal, there is nothing much more that can make us content. Below are some of the photos I took on our last visit when the sun was shining and the reflections on the water were particularly vivid. Just one of those special days that live on in the senses and sentiments.
|Road and Rail bridges over the canal|
|Canalside walls are always covered in graffiti|
|A very 'des res'|
|Reflections are always appealing|
|I love roofscapes like this|