Whatever that means
Not wanting to be driving 600km straight from camping in Orbey to Zeebrugge to catch a ferry (mainly for fear of delays but also because it would have meant packing up and setting off stupidly early even without delays) we left Orbey and headed to Gent, having used the iPhone to book rooms in the Holiday Inn Express. Nothing remotely romantic, authentic or even too pleasant about these places but they are clean, cheap and reliable and frankly after driving 500km the last thing I want is to hunt for a city-centre parking place, carry bags and children half a mile and find a bit of dive at the end and then end up sitting in it after the kids are in bed. Fine if you’re a young thing able to explore the nightlife of European cities but us old farts just want a comfy bed and a hot shower.
So, even though my heart sank when TomTom indicated leaving the motorway at the Gent Industrial Zone, I was pleased to find a parking spot right outside the door and a TV showing the Tour de France. The view from the window, as you can see, wasn’t too beautiful but Mandy had even had the foresight to pick up some Juliper beer at the petrol station so the 90 minutes between arrival and dinner was spent slumped on the bouncy castle of a bed, with cold beer, watching the last 60km of the cycling. Bliss.