Rhodes to Fethiye & Çalış – 16th September

Rhodes to Fethiye & Çalış – 16th September

We were up and packed super early on Friday 16th September as we were off back to Turkey. We were booked on the 9am ferry from Rhodes to Fethiye with Sky Marine ferries. They run only during the holiday season, until the end of October, and when we arrived at the port it was busy. The walk from our hotel to the port wasn’t too far but it started to get a bit warm carrying the rucksack, on the way we saw a massive cruise ship too. At the port, I had a sit down and some water after carrying my bag which was about 10kg, Captain Caveman’s was heavier as he was carrying the booze. We noticed the ferry queue for Marmaris was quite long but the one to Fethiye was very short, we were at the front and we didn’t have to wait long to pick up our tickets. The crossing takes a couple of hours and cost around €50, Captain Caveman had the good idea to get me a sea sickness pill. When I took it the ginger and size of it made it difficult, but I got it down.
The ferry was empty so we sat at the front where we could stretch our legs out. Strangely, the next passengers to get on sat right behind us, despite having the whole ferry to choose from. I fell asleep almost immediately and we think it was the seasickness tablet as I’ve experienced that before.

We had planned to spend a bit of time in Fethiye when we arrived and had even asked Mark, Kate and Daisy if they fancied a trip to Çalış but they were already busy. Captain Caveman decided we would stay an extra night in Fethiye and booked us in at the Downtown Fethiye Suites. With it being a weekend we had trouble finding a place to stay so we got lucky with this little apartment. We arrived early expecting to drop bags but we were allowed to check-in. After unpacking our stuff and putting the cheese in the fridge we decided to go to The Mulberry Tree for brunch. Its a popular little cafe with great food, I had a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea while Captain Caveman had pide and coffee. We even bought some crumpets to take away with us for the freezer.

We decided to get the 5.30pm water taxi from Fethiye to Çalış so that Captain Caveman could experience the delights of Charcoal Palace. The ride takes about 20 minutes and costs 40 lira each way and on the way there it was a full boat. When we got to Charcoal Palace it was quiet so we sat outside and ordered a pint of Beck’s draft beer each. It was 35 lira (£1.68) which is a lot cheaper than what we had been used to. I noticed that the menu had gluten free batter for the fish so I decided I would try it, for research purposes more than anything. We both had fish and chips which come with tartare sauce and mushy peas. I don’t eat either so I gave mine to Captain Caveman. If you didn’t know the gluten free was served, you wouldn’t have been able to tell as it was very good. The colour was slightly different and the price was the same as the regular one.

After dinner we walked to the seafront to see the sunset and had an Efes at Summer Breeze bar, they were out of Beck’s draft.
We were ready to go back to Fethiye for an early night when we got a message from Julio. He was at Terras bar in Fethiye with friends and invited us to join them. We had a great night, a few more drinks and a good laugh before we walked back to our apartment and the others carried on their night.

Rhodes – 15th September

Rhodes – 15th September

We stayed in bed late on the morning of Thursday 15th September, which was nice. Our room at Lefka Hotel had a shutter on the outside of the patio doors which made it dark and quiet.
By 1pm we were eating leftovers for our lunch and decided to open the bottle of Cair red wine, which was great. In the afternoon we went to the supermarket to stock up on cheese, salami, crisps and deodorant before getting ready for our last night in Rhodes.

Michelle and Steve had kindly booked us our ferry back to Turkey tomorrow morning so we made the most of our last Greek evening. Captain Caveman changed some more dollars and we had a walk around the old town, including a mooch about the Gate of St Anthony. We watched sunset at the beach and had a cold beer at the Malt House, which was lovely.

Captain Caveman had booked us in for an eleven course tasting menu at Piatakia for dinner and it was great. The food was excellent and I was brave to try everything except for the tuna and mussels.
On the way home we had one more drink to break up the walk back to our hotel, at a bar I forgot the name of.

Photo credit – some taken by Captain Caveman

Rhodes – 14th September

Rhodes – 14th September

Captain Caveman and I had originally planned to be back in Dalyan by Wednesday 14th September, however things had changed. Unfortunately, we would miss Sausage Dick’s departure without having seen him this time and there was still no sign of the missing sausages. One of the reasons we decided to stay longer in Rhodes was that Captain Caveman can only stay in Turkey for 90 days which means that he has to spend a month elsewhere this winter. 
At 6.20am I was waking up Captain Caveman to look at the stunning sunrise from our hotel balcony. We went back to bed after taking photos and I had an extra snooze before we got ready to check out. We were moving again and we were disappointed not to be staying for longer in Vlycha as it was really lovely.

Our next stop was back to Rhodes Town where Captain Caveman had booked for us to stay at Lefka Hotel & Apartments for 2 nights. We got the bus from Vlycha, outside the TUI Blue hotel, to Rhodes Town. We got off in town and then had to walk, via one of Captain Caveman’s shortcuts, which I was convinced was longer. When we arrived at the hotel there was no one in reception and we were too early to check-in. We left our bags and walked back in to town for some lunch. We went to a restaurant, called Nimmos, which was friendly and fairly busy. We both ordered beer, Captain Caveman had fried cheese and I had chicken kebab. The food was tasty, not the best in the world, but we had been rather spoiled recently. On the way back to the hotel to check in we called in to the supermarket to buy water. I happened to spot the same Cair Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Vlycha for €10 so we bought a bottle.

Lefka Hotel was very nice, we liked our room and the small, clean bathroom. We got ready and went back out for sunset in Rhodes Town. Captain Caveman insisted we try Piccolo Pizza which was a small stall in the old town that had the best pizza and had been recommended by Google. We found a gorgeous little wine bar, called Obscura, where we enjoyed a couple of glasses of very good red wine.

It was after 8pm when we set off walking back towards our hotel for a delicious meal at 4 Rhodies, which was on the way. We over ordered on the food which was outstanding and we had to take a doggy bag back to he hotel. Captain Caveman had liver and I had a huge cheese salad but we kind of shared, there was lots of bread. We had a carafe of the cheap wine which was actually very good for the price. The mains were an egg and potato dish for Captain Caveman and a pork dish for me, both excellent. We walked home stuffed and ready for bed, tomorrow would be our last day in Rhodes.

Rhodes – 13th September

Rhodes – 13th September

Tuesday 13th September was another wonderful day with a few surprises thrown in. We were up and about fairly early so we decided to check out and get an early bus to Lindos. We’d enjoyed staying at Summer Memories, although the WiFi wasn’t up to much, and would consider staying there again. The bus got very busy but by 10.30am we were in the super touristy town of Lindos. By complete coincidence an old school friend and her husband were going to be in Lindos today too so we arranged to meet up. Captain Caveman found us a nice little cafe called Eklekton and we went right up to the roof top terrace. I wasn’t feeling 100% so I just had an apple juice but Captain Caveman had something eggy on toast. Miraculously, Sam managed to find us easily and we caught up over a drink after almost 34 years. It was really lovely and of course there was lots to talk about – I bet Captain Caveman and Gerald, Sam’s husband, were in danger of having their ears start to bleed! Sam and Gerald didn’t have long to explore Lindos and we had to get to our next destination so we said our goodbyes and promised to meet up when I finally got back to Sheffield.

Captain Caveman and I had a short wander around the winding streets of Lindos with our backpacks on, and in midday sun, before stopping for a beverage. I had a grape smoothie (that’s not code for wine) and Captain Caveman had a Mythos beer at Pal’s.

We got a taxi from Lindos to Vlycha and ended up on the beach with our bags as the taxi driver didn’t know where our hotel was. Captain Caveman had very little cash on him so we didn’t get lunch at the beach bar, just a nice cold beer each. I’d spotted a turn off to our accommodation, Vlycha Beach studios and apartments, so we headed towards it. We checked in with the lady owner who was lovely, if not a little extraordinary. I had a dance with her on the balcony when she showed us our room and then she told Captain Caveman he had to walk to the top of a very steep hill for the nearest cash machine.

While Captain Caveman hiked in full sun, I relaxed at the hotel which was really lovely and one of my favourites of the trip so far.
When Captain Caveman returned we went for a wander to the small supermarket below then drank wine on the balcony until it got dark.
That evening, we walked a short distance to a new eatery called Gaea Beachfront restaurant and bar, part of the Lindos Aqua Terra resort, which looked fantastic. On the way we passed a working ATM machine which meant Captain Caveman needn’t have walked up the hill to the one further away. We ordered a bottle of the Cair Cabernet Sauvignon which was really good and decided to have a few dishes to share. The food was absolutely amazing and at a reasonable price, we even shared a dessert.

Rhodes – 11th & 12th September

Rhodes – 11th & 12th September

I was feeling rather under the weather on Sunday 11th September and I couldn’t get out of bed. We’d left the party shortly after eating some birthday cake as I’d started to feel sick. I put it down to the gluten and dairy in the cake, at first, but as the morning went on I got worse. I got a message from Julio reminding me that I had drank a half bottle of white wine, 2 Proseccos and 2 large wine and sodas between 7pm and 1.30am. This was not that excessive for me, to be this ill, so I thought it was something else.
We were invited to a BBQ and pool afternoon for Steve’s birthday at a villa in the hills but I couldn’t go. Instead, I sent Captain Caveman off to party on with his newly acquired friends and I slept as much as I could. I had a high temperature, cramps and an excessive need to urinate. I kept going from hot to cold and didn’t like the light.
Captain Caveman came back in the evening to check on me and he had been having a great time. We sussed out that I was probably having an allergic reaction to something I’d eaten and we thought it could be whatever was in the sauce of the prawn dish that I shared. It was a similar reaction I had suffered on 2 separate occasions; one was caused by scallops, the other by clams in a lobster bisque.
Captain Caveman went back to the party and they had a lovely time, I went back to sleep hoping to be better tomorrow.

I woke up feeling weak but much better on Monday 12th September, we desperately needed to get some laundry done so we decided we would do that. Summer Memories hotel, where we were staying in Pefkos, didn’t offer a laundry service so we got a bus to nearby Lardos. After walking in the hot sun to the launderette and back, we met Michelle and Steve for lunch. I just had chips, Captain Caveman had a toastie, Michelle and Steve shared Gyros and a spring roll. The food was nice and not too expensive with a nice view of Lardos square. For dessert Captain Caveman and I went to the local bakery and ice-cream shop where I can’t recall seeing a happier Captain Caveman. He had 2 scoops of pistachio ice-cream in a cone, I had an apple sorbet.
We got the bus back and chilled at the hotel with a couple of glasses of our Lidl wine. It was actually really good for €3.50 but meant we didn’t have time to get in the swimming pool.

We went back in to town by bus, only €1.80 for both of us each way. We decided to eat at Valantina’s in Lardos which looked really nice. I got a table and ordered water and wine while Captain Caveman walked to get the laundry (€10 for a big bag full). I was surprised to see that there was a girl with a bikini top on and a guy without a shirt eating dinner behind me – it wasn’t that warm! I had a steak and Captain Caveman had a lamb shank which were both lovely and the pomegranate flavoured ouzo went down well.
Captain Caveman even had another pistachio flavoured ice-cream from the same bakery to finish off the night while I had an amaretto sour at Memories bar. The bar man let Captain Caveman bring his ice-cream in but then he had a beer to finish the night off. We got a taxi back, although it was tricky to flag one down, we were in bed before 11pm as we had a busy day tomorrow!

Rhodes – 10th September

Rhodes – 10th September

We landed at Rhodes airport a bit later than scheduled so it was only minutes in to Saturday 10th September that we were in a pre-booked taxi. Our friends, Michelle and Steve, had recommended a nice little boutique hotel in Rhodes Town so we had booked in to there. We arrived at the old town taxi rank, by the port, at 12.30am and walked up the hill and winding cobbled streets to Evdokia where we had booked a double room. It seemed a tad frivolous to have spent €95 on a double room with breakfast but we had heard that Rhodes Town was expensive.
The room was upstairs and had the key in the door and a note with our names on because there wasn’t 24 hour reception. Our room was quite small and my first impression of Rhodes Town was that it was pretty but not great for disabled people. We had no running water so were unable to take a shower after a long journey and there was nowhere to get any drinking water. We put the AC on and went to bed around 1am, after getting messages from the owner to apologise about the water.
We were of the first up for breakfast at 8.30am and we met the lovely owner, Savvas. His omelettes are well known so Captain Caveman ordered one while I just had bread and jams, there were lots of different jams on offer. We checked out about 10.30am and went off to meet Michelle and Steve as planned, at the fountain down the road.

Steve & Michelle are the couple I met at Deep Blue Bar in Fethiye on a trip with my parents, Julio, Vanessa & Matt, Mark & Kate and have since been members of the Deep Blue Leg-ends (DBL) after Steve broke his ankle that night, on the dance floor. Captain Caveman was about to meet them for the first time as we had been invited for a meal tonight in Pefkos for Steve’s 40th birthday.
While Michelle waited for Julio at the port, Steve came to meet us at the fountain and it was great to see he was walking without crutches, albeit with a limp and still a bit of pain. It was great to meet up again and introduce him to my other half, he walked us through the cobbled streets and down to the ferry port. Here, we met up with Michelle and I was pleased to see Captain Caveman getting on with my friends straight away. We waited a while for Julio, the Turkish looking Italian Welshman from Fethiye, who was in the queue to be let in to Greece. He arrived a little disgruntled at the lengthy wait but happy to see everyone again and to meet Captain Caveman. We all walked to Michelle’s car where she had very kindly offered to give us a lift to Pefkos, we were even given a bottle of water which was needed after standing in the hot sun.
Our first stop was an absolute treat; Rhodes has a Lidl where our friends needed to call in to. It’s no understatement of how excited Julio, Captain Caveman and I were to see the prices of wine in there and we bought as much as we could carry. The most expensive bottle of Merlot was under €6 and the others spotted warm sausage rolls, which they ate by the car. Captain Caveman even went back in to price up and check on the cuts of pork, thinking we would take some back to Turkey.
Michelle dropped us off at our hotel, Summer Memories, which was basic but very nice while Julio carried on with them. We were a bit knackered and wanted to unpack and get ready for tonight as we knew it might be a late one! The birthday meal was booked for 7pm so we decided we had better scrub up and look lively. Michelle, Steve & Julio came to pick us back up at 6.30pm and we drove a short way to meet the rest of the party.

Philosophia Beach Restaurant in Pefkos was a gorgeous place for a birthday meal. We arrived in time to watch the sunset and meet the rest of the party over a refreshing drink. I ordered a bottle of white wine and some soda water while Captain Caveman had a beer. We took some photos but it didn’t do it justice, really. For dinner Captain Caveman had pâté, I had garlic mushrooms and we both had the pork for main. The food was lovely and I even did a little sharing with a guest to my right who had a prawn dish.
After the meal we had a champagne toast, of which I had two because Julio gave me his.

Our next venue was a lovely pub, near to where we were staying, called Pal’s. Here we had a wonderful birthday celebration with drinking, dancing and singing to the live act, who were absolutely brilliant. Most of us joined in with the frivolities, including Steve getting on the dance floor. It was a very merry night and we had a right old laugh – I even had some birthday cake which was so good and we were still there after midnight.

Holland to Greece – 9th September

Holland to Greece – 9th September

We were up early on Friday 9th September and it was a bitter sweet morning; Captain Caveman was pouring away rum (crikey) because we couldn’t take it on our flight at 4.40pm! It was a Friday so I did my measurements only to find I’d increased between 0.5cm (calves) and 4cm (hips) everywhere, except for reducing my bust by 1cm. That wasn’t great news but still we went down for our included breakfast at the Ibis hotel. Captain Caveman was feeling rough after drinking too much IPA last night and we were meeting Ingrid for brunch in Rotterdam so I made a sandwich and took a gluten free cracker for my hotel breakfast takeaway. Captain Caveman hardly ate anything and I just had a piece of ginger cake with butter and some fruit juice. As we were leaving the dining area, me with a sandwich in a serviette in my grasp, the receptionist told us the manager wanted to have a chat with us. I thought I was going to get told off for stealing sandwiches! The manager came out and told us there had been a mistake when we checked in and that the breakfast wasn’t included at all. If we had known that, we wouldn’t have bothered paying for it but Captain Caveman seemed not to be functioning well at all and agreed to pay the €36 extra when we checked out.

Captain Caveman was still rather unwell when we arrived at Bake & Moore to meet Ingrid, who was already waiting for us.
Ingrid and I ordered an English scone (with jam and cream) and a croissant each, on account of Queen Elizabeth II dying yesterday. It was the appropriate thing to do given that we heard the news while we were living it up in FoodHallen, in Rotterdam.
If Captain Caveman could have called in dead he probably would have and, as my friend and I chatted away, we kept seeing that he looked extremely peaky.
Ingrid kindly gave us a lift to Rotterdam station where we had booked the Flixbus, because today there was a train strike. We said goodbyes while holding back tears and hoped it wouldn’t be as long until we met up again.

After being dropped off at Rotterdam station by Ingrid, we sheltered inside as the rain was coming a bit heavy and it was quite cold. Only Captain Caveman had brought a long sleeved top and coat, I hadn’t but had lent the blue top which was of course too big for me. As we waited for the Flixbus I needed the toilet and decided to try to find one, at the same time as another customer. We were both helped by a member of the Flixbus team who said it was her bus to Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam, and she would wait for us while popped in to Subway, the sandwich shop. As we left Rotterdam, Amsterdam airport bound, the rain poured and it was a little bit sad that this part of our trip had come to an end.


When we got to the airport it was a bit weird. As warned by our friends, the airport was overcrowded and understaffed. Walkways had been constructed to push the queues of people back out of the building then back in via a serpentine route. There were signs up to tell us how long it would be to the front and so I got my sandwiches out. It was organised chaos, I will give them that, and I’ve certainly been in worse airports but we noted we may try an alternative next time. We only just had enough time for Captain Caveman to visit Duty Free and for me to eat my remaining croissant with jam and cream.
When we got to the gate our flight to Athens was delayed but we didn’t really know what was going on. As we were boarding it was also chaos and we had to stand on the air-bridge for too long. Our transit time in Athens was only 1.5 hours and that was how delayed we were. We were a bit disappointed that we would not land in time to board our next flight to Rhodes but, as Captain Caveman pointed out, the airline would have to sort out some overnight accommodation for us.
I decided to relax and let our hotel know we were delayed once we arrived in Athens. We had red wine and a gluten free sandwich for our inflight meal with Aegean Airlines, then Captain Caveman had a snooze.
We were now due to land in Athens at 22.05 and our next flight should take off at 22.20.
There were 4 of us to get on that flight to Rhodes so they held it for us. One passenger feigned illness to get off the first flight before everyone else but we still got on the same bus to the main building, where she was absolutely fine.
We got on the flight, I messaged our hotel to say we were on our way but 1.5 hours late.

Bruges – 6th September

Bruges – 6th September

Tuesday 6th September was a rather eventful day. We woke up to disturbing news from a neighbour in Dalyan that our apartment block had a leaking roof. I was asked if I knew of anyone who could come and quote for the work because 2 contractors had not shown up. I got in touch with Leanne at King Emlak and asked her to send someone round. I also checked what the weather was like back in Dalyan because it seemed odd that it would be raining so much to make a roof leak in summer.
The next thing to cause concern was that there was a train strike due for this coming Friday. We were due to travel from Belgium to Holland by train to see my friend, Ingrid, so we immediately booked a bus instead when she let us know about the strike.
Captain Caveman went to the shops and came back with a pain au chocolat for me which was delicious, still not as good as Charli’s but better than at Maro.
After a busy morning we went for a walk in to town and Captain Caveman promised me a bit of a pub crawl. I could actually feel the proverbial carrot being dangled in front of me as he filled me with hope that the next stop would be for a snack or a beverage. Our pub crawl did not start well and, when questioned, Captain Caveman had to admit that he had thought the church coffee morning would turn out to be a bar, not an opportunity to sit down and chat about life’s problems.

I was getting a bit crotchety after over an hour of walking but then we happened upon a pub. We sat outside De Belleman, which was busy with diners and we had a nice Tongerlo beer each. We did some more walking along the canals and beside windmills until the next pub. At De Windmolen pub we had Hoegaarden Rosé and Bruges Zot beers with some cheese. There was no need for the cheese to have celery salt on but we managed to eat it anyway. We sat out in the sun and we really enjoyed this pub.
By 5pm we were in our 3rd pub, In De Reisduif, so the crawl was going pretty well. In this pub the Hoegaarden was only €2.80 (£2.44) so we had a couple in there while admiring the eclectic decor of this old man style boozer. Our last stop was more of an upmarket bar, the T’Molenhuis, not far from where we had arranged to meet friends for dinner. We sat on the pavement on high stools drinking Bruges Zot, the cheapest 33cl beer they had at €5!

At 6.30pm we had arranged to meet friends, Jo & Ben, at Du Phare, a restaurant recommended by Jo. We knew her from meeting in Phong Nha several years ago and had met up with her the last time we were in Bruges at Ribs ‘n’ Beer. Knowing that I would be eating less pork in Turkey I went for the pork ribs again, along with Ben, Jo had fish and Captain Caveman had the Beef stew. The food was absolutely amazing, we loved the view of the canal and the company was excellent. As the night was drawing to a close it started to rain so we moved under cover where Jo and I ate a fantastic chocolate dessert. As the rain poured there was only one thing to do, order several rounds of limoncello.
It was still raining when Jo and Ben had to cycle home, we were meant to be walking but decided to call a taxi. We waited in the bar with more drinks and got chatting to a nice bar man. He even made me promise to bring my mom to visit!
The taxi back to our hotel was only €18 and well worth it in the rain and cold (for us). Tonight was our last night in Bruges as tomorrow we had more exciting things planned.

Brussels to Bruges – 4th September

Brussels to Bruges – 4th September

We’d had a good sleep and a nice lay in on Sunday 4th September. The weather was a lot cooler than we were used to but the sun was shining. After breakfast with Captain Caveman’s family, we went to a place called Wolvendael where there was an event on. Lots of school children, and their parents, from the area had set up stalls in the park. It was a bit like a huge jumble sale but nicer. We strolled around the park and we even got to push Felix in the pram. After spending some time at the playground, we sauntered back home for our last family lunch. The visit to see Simon, Anna, and the 3 children went so quickly but we had loved every minute of it. After saying our goodbyes, Simon walked with Captain Caveman and I to the train station.

Our next stay was in Bruges, the train was just €14.70 each and didn’t take very long. We sat upstairs on the train and when we arrived at Bruges station our hotel was very close. Captain Caveman had chosen to stay at the Ibis hotel, right next to the train station on account of us needing somewhere convenient for exploring and not too expensive.
When we arrived my first impressions were good, the hotel was basic but had everything we needed. We didn’t even unpack before we were walking to a place for dinner and beers.

It was about a 30 minute walk to Pizzeria Aguila, but it was worth it. We drank 2 Hoegaarden beers and 1 Jupiler beer each, shared a caprese salad and ordered a pizza each. Captain Caveman had read that it was the 7th best pizza restaurant in Bruges so I had to wonder how good the others could possibly be. The bill came to €73.30 which was just less than £65 so I didn’t think it was too bad for Bruges. I got a bit of a surprise in the toilet with a strange doll staring at me and we took half of my pizza back to the hotel.
In the hotel room we decided to open the bottle of Havana Club rum we had bought at duty free, we had it with a coke and the rest of the pizza.
The room was surprisingly comfy and cosy, which was lucky as we would be here for 3 nights.

Brussels – 2nd September

Brussels – 2nd September

Friday 2nd September was an important day! Not only was it Vietnamese Independence Day but it was also the start of the Belgian beer festival in Brussels. 
We were awake before 7am and went to breakfast at Charli Boulangerie, where the baker is on show while you eat. I had the best pain au chocolat with a green tea, Captain Caveman had a double espresso and a plain croissant. The cost was a reasonable €10 and the place was quite busy. It was mesmerising to watch the baker, who was working very hard.

We were back at the hotel before 9am and then went to the farm shop close by to get something for the kitchen. We bought ham, goat cheese and a baguette, then couldn’t resist a second breakfast.
For lunch we met Simon and Anna, Captain Caveman’s brother and his wife. It had been a long time since we had seen them and it was great to catch up again. The restaurant they chose was called In’t Spinnekopke, which means The Spider’s Web in Flemish. I loved it there, the food was excellent and the waiter was impressive. Simon and I had the beef stew, Captain Caveman had sausage and Anna had fish. The meat eaters amongst us had our meal paired nicely with a Belgian dark beer which was surprisingly nice, so much so that we managed a second one.
It was still a working day so Anna and Simon had to get back but Captain Caveman and I took the afternoon to do a bit of shopping. We went to the Base phone shop and bought a SIM card which we would be able to use while in Europe, the man in the shop was very helpful and it cost €15, including a package for up to 30 days. We finished our shopping with a beer in the Delerium pub while we waited for Simon to finish work. Of course Captain Caveman had to take a photo of me next to the Jeanneke Pis, for good sightseeing measure!

Captain Caveman’s brother works in the  brewing industry so he is involved in the Brussels beer festival. He had very kindly invited Captain Caveman and I to join him at the annual event. Unfortunately, Anna wasn’t able to join on account of her having the 3 children to look after. Captain Caveman went over to the Grand Place in Brussels to wait next to the Town Hall. Here we saw various important people coming out of the building and going in to the beer festival as the first guests. This included the Belgian Prime Minister who seemed very nice.

Videos of the VIPs coming from the building in to the Belgian Beer Festival

It will come as no surprise that we had several beers during the evening at the beer festival and I did my best to keep a note of them all – I’m sure some slipped through, though. My first one was a Kriek Boon as I do love a cherry beer and I was a little thirsty. We made our way round all of the beer stands enjoying our free beer samples and comparing notes. We liked the Van Den Bosch, Aparta and Martens – the cardamon flavoured beer was one of our favourites of the night and I thought it would be great with a curry. The Paranoia at Delirium had a great name but it wasn’t in my best beers. Floris was good, as usual and I was pleased to see that Huyghe had a Gluten Free beer which I had to try. If it hadn’t said that the Mongozo premium pilsner, served in a coconut shell, was gluten free I wouldn’t have guessed. It was light and easy to drink but I found the shell with bracelet style stand a bit tricky to hold and inadvertently put the ‘bracelet’ on then forgot to return it with the shell. Another top beer was the Paix Dieu at the Caulier bar, this also got extra points for the gorgeous glass. Stuut beer did cans that matched my dress but there was none available to try, the Super 8 had nibbles and a lovely glass too. By the time we were sampling Haacht, Kasteel, then De Dool my note taking was slightly fuzzy – not unlike my photos. If I recall correctly, we finished on Leopold  7 and thought it would be a great idea to get some food.

We’d met a few people along the way and one guy came with us to L’Express Kebab where we had Beirut or Heineken bottled lager. I’m no beer snob but it definitely wasn’t my favourite drink of the night! The kebab was a winner though, and definitely what I needed to help sober me up a bit before the walk back to the hotel.
Captain Caveman’s jetlag had certainly caught up with him as he was fast asleep on the bed, the wrong way round, by the time I had got undressed.

Dalyan to Belgium – 1st September

Dalyan to Belgium – 1st September

Our first European holiday together since before the pandemic started in the early hours of Thursday 1st September. Captain Caveman had fallen asleep on the sofa but I woke him up in time for our taxi to the airport. Fikri was on time and we were off to Dalaman at 1.45am, it was going to be a long day. When we arrived at Dalaman airport we were early and the check-in desk didn’t open until 2 hours before the flight instead of the 3 hours we were expecting. It took a lot of willpower not to fall asleep, stood up in the queue.
We checked in and were due to fly at 5.35am to Dusseldorf, the airport has no free drinking water which is a bit poor and we had to buy bottled water.

We both managed a little sleep on the plane but it was only for a couple of hours at the most.
We landed at 8.15am in Dusseldorf and were asked the purpose for our visit as we went through passport control. Captain Caveman was asked how long he planned on staying. I was surprised that Dusseldorf airport didn’t seem that clean to say we were in Germany. We got a train from the airport, €3 each, to Dusseldorf Central station then walked for about 10 minutes to the bus station. We found a cafe which seemed to have some dodgy dealing rough characters outside. We bought a big bottle of water, a double espresso (for Captain Caveman) and a sandwich each for €7.50. We weren’t staying in Germany, we had a Flixbus booked to Brussels in Belgium. We left around 1pm, the bus was great; comfy seats, free WiFi and only 3 hours.

When we got off in Brussels we found that we needed coins to get on the tram or metro, we didn’t have any so we walked. We were peckish so we went to a place called Wolf in the town centre. We shared dim sum and got ourselves a beer. The dim sum were €5.50 for 3 so it wasn’t super cheap but they were very nice and we had 6 between us. We also got a pulled pork Bao, €7.50 each and one more beer each. I thought the Wolf logo on the glasses looked more like a thirsty dog. We walked to our hotel around 4pm and checked in to a nice room with a kitchenette. The Citadines Sainte Catherine aparthotel was great and would be a good location for what we had planned in Brussels.
We decided to have a little lay down but fell asleep and missed dinner – we were very tired.