One for the road: planning a road trip

Posted by on 16 Jul, 2014 in Belgium, Blog, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Travel planning | 10 comments

Next week I will be jetting off on a very special trip: my first ever road trip!

And I cannot wait.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be flying to London for the evening before hitting the road with two friends and driving back to Düsseldorf via France, Belgium and Holland.

The Route

With just a week to go, our route looks pretty set. We’ve arranged overnight stays just outside of Amiens and one night each in Ghent and Antwerp. We also have a list of must-see destinations, but this is fairly flexible.

And this is where you come in, dear reader.

Based on Richard from abitofculture’s advice, we have already decided to spend an extra night in Antwerp, but are there any other places along our route we should take time to see?

We do not have tonnes of time in each place and may already be spreading ourselves too thinly, but I’d like to have an Arsenal of activities up my sleeve in case bad weather or renovation works or other unforeseen circumstances thwart our plans. (Also, out of the three of us, I am the only non-driver so I really need to bring some knowledge to make up for it…)

So far, our plans involve:

  • Etaples military cemetery in Northern France
  • An afternoon or morning in Lille
  • Bruges daytrip
  • Ghent & Antwerp
  • Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau
  • Few hours in Maastricht
  • Cologne

There is also an option to head to the French coast if the weather is nice.

I am open to any other suggestions: whether it be a bar, bakery, museum or village. Any and all insider knowledge would be much appreciated!

Make sure to follow me on instagram to keep up with me on the road!

10 Comments

  1. I’m from Belgium originally so yes, I’ve been to a lot of these places :-) I don’t know how much time you have, but I would take a full day for Ghent and a full day for Antwerp, both are really gorgeous. And although Bruges is lovely, most Belgians consider it too touristy and too museum-like. Enjoy your trip!!

    • Thanks for the tips – we will spent about two days in Belgium in total, but will have to fit in Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp into that time. I’ve heard the same about Bruges, so I’m glad we are staying there – we’ll just spent a few hours there during the day.

  2. Have fun! If the queue for the Belfry in Bruges is beastly, there’s a good view of the main square from the Duvel bar’s terrace above the Historium museum. And I enjoyed a hot chocolate at The Old Chocolate House cafe on Mariastraat – well worth looking for. I went to Ghent on my stag do so can’t remember much, but I bet you’ll love taking photos of the Graslei in the centre.

    • Brilliant – some good tips, as always. Think it might be a bit too hot for a hot chocolate (forecast says 28 and sunny) but will bear the terrace in mind.

  3. Montreuil is a lovely little town with spectacular city walls that you can walk around. If you have time to divert to Ypres in the evening, the ceremony at the Menin Gate is moving.

    • Montreuil is right on our route actually, very close to the military cemetery – will pop in if we have time (provided the pull of the beach isn’t too strong…) Thanks for the tips!

  4. No recommendations (I think Mt. St Michel is a bit out of your way, non?) but lots of good wishes!

    • It is, unfortunately, but thanks anyway. Maybe next road trip? 😉

      • I always wanted to do the castles of Germany, or the tiny mountain towns of the Mediterranean coast by car.

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