Friday, January 23, 2009

June 2008

Leaving Kortrijk in Flanders we join the Bossuit canal and enter the other half of Belgium, Walloon. Immediately the 'brugs' become 'ponts' and the next city we reach, Tournai, has a distinctly French ambience. Not surprising when we discover Tournai used to be the capital of France.
We moor on a free pontoon and walk in to explore this beautiful city making first for the belfry.
These towers were built by the medieval merchants in all the significant towns and cities in this part of Europe. They house carillons of bells that were used to warn the inhabitants of threat such as fire or imminent invasion but also simply to get them up in the mornings.
If you climb them they provide wonderful views as well as musical interludes on the quarter hour of varying quality depending on the state of the bells.
The belfry towers are topped with a weathervane, often in the form of a golden dragon as here in Tounai. Skipper decided Snail too should have one.

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