A Mutant Sparrow on the way to Bruges

So, phew, we're back in the UK at the Mill, just in time for some really bad weather.  The drive through Europe wasn't too bad.  Leaving Italy at 7 in the morning on Thursday in temperatures already over 30, by lunch time we were in Switzerland where the air was slightly cooler.   We stopped for a quick picnic lunch beside the road (everything is expensive in Switzerland, so we don't hang about) and then saw a very strange bird hopping towards us intent on the crumbs from our baguette.

This is the avian equivalent of the elephant man.  We wondered what accident had caused this overgrowth of the beak, or whether it was genetic - given that something was also wrong with the sparrow's legs.  But it seemed to be able to pick up bread by turning its head to the side and laying the beak down on the table.  I found it quite disturbing.

We stayed overnight in a small French town called St Avold, which was cheap and had nice wine and pastries, and then set off very early in the morning towards the Zeebrugge ferry, aiming to be at Bruges for lunch so that we could spend an afternoon walking round this medieval gem.

Bruges is a marvellous place - I spent so much time looking I forgot to take photographs of the narrow streets with their step-front houses on the canal front.  It's just a bit touristy, but lovely all the same.  I did take this snap from the pub where we had lunch.

It must be one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

Then we headed for the ferry and an overnight crossing of the north sea.  We left sunny Belgium and woke up to find the refineries and power stations of  Humberside off the port bow.  Hull, or hell?  We really didn't know.  How are we supposed to live with this level of pollution (which I suppose we've just added to by driving through Europe)?  As for the weather - the grey sky says it all!


  1. BrugeS looks lovely!
    Pollution and mutants? I suspect it is not chance that both appear in the one post

  2. Fantastic post!! I couldn't resist the title. Poor bird, though. And what ever caused it? Bruge looks divine - I envy all the travel you do, Kathleen.


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