Wednesday, 9 March 2016

In Bruges

So, just three weeks after my operation I should still be relaxing, taking it easy and avoiding any unnecessary exertion.

What I shouldn't be doing, then, is heading off east, to the Mad-Max wastelands of the undiscovered areas of the world - East Yorkshire, in other words - in order to board a North Sea ferry from the county's own 'Barter-town' (or Kingston-Upon-Hull as the maps show it - along with 'here be monsters' notes, usually) with a rather unruly group of men whose main aim was to sink their own body weight in alcohol.

OK, in my defence, this was a 'gentlemen-only' weekend to celebrate a 40th birthday and I'd agreed to attend and paid my journey before I knew the date of my operation.  Oh, and as for 'gentlemen-only', well, it's not the first men-only event that I've been invited to. 

Anyway, Thursday and our day of sailing arrived.  Sadly, the weather didn't offer the chance of fair winds and calm seas - the dark ominous clouds of Lancashire gave way to the dark ominous clouds of Yorkshire and the ferry port of Hull.  I'd dressed as appropriately as I could in my shiny PVC coat and heeled wellington boots - I perhaps looked a little more like a rubber fetishist than I would have preferred in 'vanilla' company, especially to the ones in the group I didn't really know.  Comments from some of the chaps like "Oooh, kinky boots" and "fabulous pervy mac, love" made think of the the real fetish gear in my wardrobe at home - if only they knew.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - eastward-bound!
By 5.00pm we'd boarded the 'Pride Of York', and by roughly 5.05pm the first of the group were in the ferry's bar.  I settled in my cabin (thoughtfully booked into an outside one by the organiser) and joined them a little while later.  I'd just had my first drink (sadly non alcoholic) when the steady shifting of the view outside the bar windows told me we were under way.  I ventured outside into the freezing air to take a look at the port as we set sail - OK, it's only a North Sea ferry, but they do say there's few things more romantic than the sailing of a ship away from port, the distant whistle of a steam train signalling it's departure from the station... I always preferred a pair of black leather fuck-me high heels though.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - a goodbye to Hull.

The cold soon drove me back into the warm busy bar, where I managed to fend off countless offers of alcohol (well, I am still recovering!) but still managed to have a great night.  As 11.00pm arrived I said my good-nights and headed back to my cabin - alone, despite a few offers to help me find my way.  Walking down the long corridor to the cabin I was finally aware that outside the waves were rising, and the ship was now beginning a lazy roll from side to side with the occasional heavy thudding fist when a larger wave slammed into the ship's hull.

I can't really say that I awoke refreshed and bright as we arrived on the other side of the North Sea as that would imply that I slept - my occasional dozes were frequently interrupted as the ship ploughed it's way over the mountains and down the valleys of the sea.  I was just glad that I'd had the foresight to take some travel sickness pills.  Sadly, I also can't say that we arrived to bright sunshine - the clouds of Lancashire and Yorkshire had followed the ferry like a haunting albatross, determined to bring poor fortune on the sailors and passengers.

Disembarking was efficient though (as long as you waited for the main throng to get out of the way) and it felt like no time at all before our coach dropped us off at the historic city of Bruges.  Despite the clouds, I was quickly struck by how pretty the old buildings were as we strolled to our city-centre hotel.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bruges.

We passed numerous lovely chocolate shops (oh, how I cursed my dairy allergy!), lace shops and beer shops and bars, the quaint architecture balanced by the lovely old cobbled streets.  We turned a corner onto another pretty medieval street.  "The hotel is just up here on the right," said the organiser. I couldn't wait to see it.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - no chance of a room with a view.
Oh.  "Well," I thought, "maybe it's nicer on the inside."  Luckily it was - modern and cosy at the same time, and a welcome warmth after the cold morning chill.  We deposited our bags and headed off for a quick walk around the nearby streets.  Just around the corner from the hotel the impressive Market Square gave an impressive backdrop for the tourists taking photographs.  Even in the gloom of the cloudy day Bruges couldn't hide it's charms.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bruges.

The group soon found it's way to a beer bar - the first of many - and when we finally left in search of nourishment that wasn't liquid-based I was pleased to see the sun had arrived too in the old city.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - the sun comes out in Bruges.
The plan, after a brief snack, was to head back to the hotel before The Big Birthday Night Out, but, as this was Bruges, is meant that there was always another bar or two on the walk back to venture into - including one with lovely canal-side views (and the most dazzling display of beers that I'd yet seen) and one in the old museum that offered commanding views over the main square.  Lovely.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - beer and Bruges.

In time we finally reached the hotel, where I opted for a 'disco kip' before heading back out for the night.  By night, Bruges was just as lovely - the stunning buildings lit up beautifully around the square, and there was a general air of relaxed merriment around the city centre.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bruges... pretty in the night.
The meal, at a restaurant just off the main square, wasn't fabulous unfortunately - over-priced and lukewarm, but then we were eating in the tourist area.  The bars that followed the restaurant were much better - in Bruges, beer is the dessert, it seems... at least it was for us!  All the bars had the same chilled-out and jovial atmosphere - much less intimidating and much more enjoyable than many I've been to in Manchester, anyway.  However, the lack of sleep on the tumbling and rolling ferry the night before were finally catching up with me, and I gave the Birthday Boy a long and deep birthday kiss before heading back to the hotel to crash out for the night.

The following morning dawned chilly but bright, and knowing the rest of the group would be up late due to their celebrations, I headed out in search of hot tea and a chance to see Bruges in the quiet of the morning.  The streets that thronged with the hustle of tourists the previous day were lovely and still, with only the occasional pedestrian, car or bicycle using the thoroughfares.  Shops were just opening and already the scent of chocolate was wafting out of open doorways.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bruge delights.
I eventually found a little canal-side café and warmed myself with a hot mint tea before venturing back onto the city streets.  I found my way back to the hotel and thankfully some early risers were in the hotel lobby.  We'd pre-planned the Saturday as a day to split up do our own thing, but a couple of the group decided to stroll the streets with me in search of food.

A nearby square looked promising, with yet more beautiful buildings and a lovely resaurant/café - but the only breakfast, it seemed, was waffles or pancakes - not what any of us wanted. 

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bruges.
We wandered further into the city's streets, now getting busier with tourists.  One of them was busy looking onto his phone and, thanks to Google, guided us away from the main streets to a small restaurant called Reliva near the city's cathedral.  Luckily it was open, and I have to say the little place offered one of the best meals I've had.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Reliva, Bruges.
 I can't recommend the gorgeous restaurant enough, and the beer was equally as fantastic as the food - the two guys in the group also seemed more than happy with the choice of food and drink.

Sadly the bright sunny weather was slowly giving way to grey gloom again, just in time for us to journey back to the hotel to collect our bags.  We strolled through more lovely and picturesque streets on a lazy winding way back to the hotel, taking our time as we had a few hours still to kill before our coach was due.  On the way, however, a little shop caught my eye...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Boudoir Boutique, Bruges.
 Boudoir Boutique is a well-presented erotic store near the city centre, and I couldn't wait to go in once I'd spotted it.  The two gents who were with me (and who have no idea of my chosen profession) were keen to have a look, too.  Once inside we were presented with the sight of a plethora of sexy toys and clothes, and erotic pornographic photography books were artfully displayed, their opened pages mirroring the open legs of the models within the heavy pages.  In truth, there wasn't much I needed as I tend to have quite a few 'tools of the trade', but a pair of gleaming patent high-heeled thigh boots caught my eye.  I asked the glamorous assistant if I could try them.  As I slipped into them and strutted up and down the shop, still wearing my PVC coat, I felt a host of eyes on me from other customers in the store and more noticeably from the chaps I was with.  They had gone very quiet but were clearly studying the outfit with more than a passing interest.  The boots fitted almost perfectly, clinging tightly to my legs, and I was soon reaching for my purse.  At least I was going home with a memento of the trip!  One of the chaps cleared his throat once we were outside the sexy store, and rather too casually asked where I would wear them.  "Oh, rock concerts," I replied.  "Ah," he sighed, looking rather wistful.  I couldn't resist adding "And probably for the bedroom, too."  He turned his head so fast I swore I could hear his neck muscles crick.  He was even more quiet after that.

As the grey gloom descended we reached the hotel, and, once re-grouped, headed back for the coach that would take us to the ferry terminal.  Just as we reached the coach the heavens opened and heavy rain fell, bouncing off the glistening pavements.  "Manchester rain," I thought - it must be time to go home.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - goodbye gloomy Bruges...

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - and hello sunny, oh, gloomy Hull.

 The ferry back that evening was even more tumbling, rolling and heaving with the North Sea swells, but thankfully we made it back safely to port in Hull the following morning.  As we said our farewells I reminisced about the little jaunt and the fabulous company I'd enjoyed - it was just what I needed after a few weeks of being confined to my apartment.

I'm also happy to report that my recovery is going well - I've started having dreams about fucking, anyway, so my libido is clearly unaffected by my operation.  I can't wait to get back to normal, though, and can't wait for a few other interesting trips coming up soon.

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