Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Beautiful Leie River

One of the many majestic houses on the Leie River
Flowing through Gent and south towards the French border is the River Leie. Along this river there are many magnificent houses with their lawns sweeping down to the peaceful river. Manicured lawns are mowed by battery operated robotic lawnmowers, so the peace of the countryside is not marred by the jarring sound of motors. As we travel further along the river the magnificent houses make way for pastures and bird riddled copses.
another stately home
We stopped at a peaceful mooring in Sint Martin Latem, a town noted for its artworks and also, it seems, for some very expensive cars. As we wandered through the village, we saw a top of the range Range Rover, a Porsche and a Bentley. Obviously a bit of money here.
The mooring was near the police station which occupied a very choice piece of real estate almost on the banks of the river. What a great place to work with that view. On top of that, in the riverfront garden, was a sculpture of a naked woman's back!
The local Police station
We decided to avail ourselves of a meal at one of the quality restaurants in this village and the meal certainly didn't disappoint. Definitely worth going back to this spot.
Sculpture in St Martin Latem
Tasty meal in St Martin Latem
After leaving Sint Martin, we made our way to Deinze to meet up with some fellow bargees from Gent, Helen and Phil, on their ex pub barge, de Volendammer. Deinze is another lovely town situated on the junction of the river Leie and the shipping canal that links Gent to Deinze. Walking back along the Leie river we visited the gardens at the Ooidonk Kastel and had a very average lunch in the cafe. It was here, in Deinze,  that we also met Jude and Roger, an English couple who own a cruiser and are based in Diksmuide marina. 
Ooidonk Kastel
We have found this part of our journey very "social" with a constant stream of drinks, coffee either on our boat, other people's boats or in local bistros. We certainly can't say that boating doesn't have a good social life and you instantly have something in common - we all own boats of varying sizes and designs but we all experience similar experiences with living in a mobile home on a watery domain.
Phil and Helen's barge

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