Weekend Raid to Belgium
Welcome to Ghent, Welcome to Belgium
On a cold October morning we gathered troops from all over England. The morning mist still hung in the air as we made our way towards south, towards the coast. We were cold, but the fresh air felt vigorating in our lungs; it was time for a good old fashioned Viking raid to Belgium.
From the white cliffs of Dover we launched our ships on the treacherous waters of the English canal. We had planned on landing in Dunkirk, but the sea is a harsh and unpredictable mistress and instead she took us to Calais.
A slight setback, but it made no difference; it merely brought the Belgians an extra hour to set up their defences.
We rode towards Ghent, which maybe isn’t quite as famous as Bruges, Antwerp or Brussels, but ye should not overlook this old and rich city. It lies between Bruges and Antwerp, not just in location but in size and feeling. It isn’t quite as picturesque as Bruges, but it does feel to have more history than Antwerp.
There was still plenty of daylight when we reached Ghent and set up camp in a building that was strategically close to the train station. The men were weary from the long journey, but they were not tired, they were enthusiastic, so we soon headed out for our first raid.
Historical center of Ghent
End of night in our tavern in Ghent
Buildings by the canal
We started by looting tavern that had a great beer selection; and from there we moved to the next tavern for some rabbit stew. Encouraged by our success we ventured forwards the old town and found an excellent little tavern where we spent the rest of the night.
Next morning we took stock of the situation long after the sun had risen. We decided that in order to raid Bruges, we would send a smaller scouting party first. I volunteered for the task.
While the main party continued pillaging Ghent, I led our small scouting party to Bruges where we arrived soaked; it was raining horizontally. Morale was low so I ordered a raid to the De Halve Moon brewery to boost it
This indeed was an excellent choice, which we then followed with a series of chocolate shops. We even secured a boat for us to scout to the waterways.
Inside De Halve Maan brewery
Bruges, it is a f**king fairytale town
View from the clock tower is worth the climb
Exploring the canals in Bruges
Afterwards we set up camp in a café ‘t Brugs Beertje which is one of the best taverns in Bruges and waited for the main party to arrive. We regrouped and we set out in full force to pillage some mussels we had heard so much about.
And they were good indeed.
Before heading back to Ghent we regrouped back in the tavern to inspect for casualties, but so far there was none. In jubilant mood we returned to Ghent.
You have to try the mussels in Belgium
Our hideout in ‘t Brugs Beertje
Next morning we made plans for Antwerp, which is a lot bigger city than Bruges. So it was decided that we would hit it with full force instead of sending in a smaller scouting party.
Again in slightly damp weather we arrived to the impressive train station of Antwerp.
We didn’t know much about the city, but the Cathedral of our Lady seemed like the obvious first target, so that’s where headed immediately. We had a tactical meeting in a small tavern next to the cathedral and decided to divide our troops in order to best cover the whole Antwerp.
This time we focused especially on waffles, which were excellent.
The impressive Antwerp train station
The Antwerp metro seems pretty old fashioned
Antwerp, need I say more
Belgian waffles and beer
Again we returned to Ghent victorious; and we continued to celebrate our success in a familiar location.
Sunday morning finally cleared out the clouds that had been hanging over our weekend raid.
Not sure what this statue by Albert Poels is supposed to represent
The blue skies were definitely a good omen and the men were in excellent mood. Encouraged by this we headed to a beer shop on the outskirts of Ghent for the main looting. This was tactically a very challenging raid as the beer shop was only open for two hours.
But with careful planning we pulled it off, and one of our carriages was now completely loaded with Belgian beer.
Afterwards I even had time for a quick scouting mission to the local castle after which we gathered our loot and troops and headed to Dunkirk where we boarded our ships and set sail back to England.
We knew it was a long way back home as the treacherous waves of the English canal carried us once more. And it was soon that the chilly English nights greeted us again, but we had the loot, which would keep us warm during the cold winter we knew was coming.
View of Ghent from the clock tower
So many beers to choose from
Have ye been to Belgium? Do ye like Belgian beers?