Bruges – 2011

Our EQC event in Bruges featured what many hold to be our finest ever venue, the Belfry at the very centre of the city’s splendid medieval heart.

This site oozes history and the old cloth halls adjoining the belfry tower proved to be a fantastic venue for quiz. Local host Chris Lemahieu and his small army of helpers laid on an incredible weekend, featuring the best-run and most accommodating bar some of us quizzers have seen!

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As well as welcoming the debut of the Irish national team and re-emergence of full French participation, the European nations’ tournament got off to a wonderful start on the first evening with something of an upset in each semi-final – Finland defeating Belgium and Norway knocking-out reigning champions England. Whatever else would happen over the weekend, we’d have a new name on the trophy! These upsets on the Friday night lent a frisson to the whole weekend’s proceedings and the excitement continued until the very last question of the European Nations final when, with shredded nerves, the Finnish team found themselves European Champions. Even the news that their country had lost out in the bidding war for the subsequent EQC – the 2012 vote going Tartu’s way – could not diminish their joy at winning, as they looked forward to a year holding the title before being required to travel to Estonia to defend it.