Our journey started with a mega early wake up call. We’d pulled up on the promenade of Dover with free camping and after surviving our first successful night even though a tad groggy we hopped onto the 6:40 ferry to Calais. It was a bit of a haze of stress and nerves I must say but we seemed to sail through (pun definitely intended) and it wasn’t long before we were on the roads of France.
Our first stop was Dunkirk, it was a quick pitstop which led us down along a canal through the flea markets but overall we found it very underwhelming. I’m not quite sure what we expected but I guess it just wasn’t our thing and we soon hopped back into the van and onto the next stop Lille.
We parked up in the suburbs and gave our bikes their first spin taking us to the main square where we wandered around the vintage markets and the old stock exchange and took in the scenery whilst grabbing a bite to eat at a local cafe. The architecture is so beautiful and walking through all the narrow streets we soon got lost but it didn’t matter. After sampling a famous merveilleux which let me tell you did not disappoint we ambled our way back to the bikes past the likes of the belfry tower. I was hoping to take a trip to the La Piscine however it was closed 🙁 instead we decided to head to Bruges a little earlier than expected but that’s the beauty of vanlife!
Another border crossed and our little overnight spot was alongside the canal and only a short walk through the park into the centre. After a siesta to recharge our batteries we wandered through the quiet streets for a bite to eat. Starving after only a small lunch our recommended restaurant did not disappoint. A delicious Flemish beef stew was the most delicious I’ve ever tasted and topped off with a HUGE portion of proper chips our bellies were beyond full. We got talking to our waiter who told us about a local street food market going on not far from where we were so hotfooted it over there to check out the local offerings. A huge selection of trucks, pop ups and tents lined the walkways and live music boomed through the jam packed park. It was a buzz of excitement that made us smile because this is what we wanted from our travels. We drank cocktails and chilled in the evening sun and soaking in the atmosphere before giddily wandering back to our bed ready for another day of action on this amazing trip!