Birthday Weekend in France & Belgium


I returned late last night from my latest European adventure: A road trip to France and Belgium for my birthday weekend.

I stayed in Boulogne-sur-Mer, a favourite of mine due to its proximity to the Channel ports: It is very easy to get to from coming off the ferry at Calais and the hotel I like is opposite the town’s main beach.

My original plan on Saturday was to do a day-trip to Paris. Due to French strike action I decided against that – and instead headed for Brussels to visit the Christmas Market there.

Light show in Brussels

Routing down past Lille and crossing in to Belgium near Tournai, I enountered virtually no traffic until I got to the R0 (Brussels’ outer ring); I parked at the Brussel-Zuid (Bruxelles-Midi) station, a short Metro journey away from the Grote Markt / Grand Place.

Brussels is a city I’ve done a couple of times before but never in December – I enjoyed watching the light show! There was a chance for browsing the stalls at the market, and a fair bit of drinking of hot chocolate too – and I also ate dinner in Brussels – I ate at one of the Greek restaurants in the centre of the city.

On Sunday I stayed in France and went to Arras, the capital of the Pas-de-Calais department. The Christmas Market there was great to visit! I would have stayed longer if I had time, but home was calling… and I needed to get back to Calais.

Arras – Christmas Market

I was back at work today and feel like I’ve never been away…

Where next then?


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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