Brussels and Brugge in Belgium.... Yep, that's it
Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
26Trip End Apr 30, 2012
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Leave Amsterdam a little later than expected. We were told that we would have to pay a large sum of $$ to ride an faster train and we thought why not spend that cash on food so we waited for a free train that was an hour longer but who cares when you save 60 euros in the process.
That morning we also went to a place for brunch that had a line of people waiting out in the cold to get inside. After being told that the wait for inside was longer than any person should be forced to wait for food, we decided to just suck it up and take a table outside that came with blankets.. However, the gods were on our side because only after about 15 minutes of braving the minor cold winds, she said a table just opened up inside and said that it would probably be in our best interests to take it.. It was an extremely charming restaurant with lovely staff.. It actually got rated #1 out of 1,217 restaurants to go to in Amsterdam so we definitely felt privileged.. While there were no fireworks or dancing bears that accompanied our meal, everything was cooked exactly how it should be, with Bridge's egg's benedict melting on the plate and my egg scramble definitely kept me wanting more.
Once we got to Brussels, we metroed to our place, Bridget took the elevator while I climbed the Swiss Alps to our room.. Completely exasperated from 6 weeks of travel, we collapsed on our beds and agreed to take a night off of moving and just stayed in, organizing the loose ends to our lives that have been unraveling for some weeks now.
Off to Brugge!! An old medieval town that has been claimed as many travelers favorite place in Europe (crazy expectations).. Apparently, the weather in Belgium is much like Washington, with every day only being complete after some rain.. So when we arrived in Brugge with the sun peaking through the clouds and making an appearance for 70% of the day, we felt privileged.
For the entire day, we just toured around the city, marveling at the mix of Medieval architecture and brick-houses. It definitely was a charming place that was very well kept and had as many tourists as Brussels even though it was 1/18 of the size. For a snack, we went to a place called "The Chocolate Line" that boasted exotic chocolate concoctions.. While it the experience might have been a waste on non-chocolate connoisseurs like Bridget and myself, we still enjoyed a chocolate covered marshmallow that was delicious.
For lunch we tried to go to a vegetarian place recommended by Rick Steves, but when we arrived the owner said that we needed reservations.. It was a Tuesday afternoon in Brugge (a town the size of downtown Danville), and yet this was the FIRST establishment we walked in to that did not have enough room to seat us… Interesting
After we ate a cozy place around the corner from the busiest-veggie-lunch-restaurant I have ever seen, we headed back to the city of Brussels to continue our tour of Belgium..
We decided to do things a little different, and instead of taking a normal tour of historical buildings that used to be significant to someone but only manage to hold our (specifically my) attention for a couple seconds, we went on a Comic-Strip hunting adventure! All over Brussels are 60 art pieces on various building walls of famous Belgium comic strips that were once in the news paper.. On our map was a guided hunt of these hidden pieces of art that we took 4 hours to find. It actually was a lot of fun searching around the city for these random fresco-painted walls that revealed a little bit of Belgium humor mixed in with some history.. Entirely famished, we walked into a Greek restaurant for dinner where Bridget caught the eye of the owner who could not stop visiting our table the entire meal.. As the owner of a restaurant, he was able to show his adoration by giving us extra food, so we definitely enjoyed the fruits of his love with three baskets of bread and a handful of chocolate that he hid in his hands as he made Bridget pick either the left or right one (but of course he gave her all his hidden treasures, which turned out to be chocolate eggs filled with white chocolate---I could think of a worse bridal gift)..
As for me, I flirted mercilessly with the Greek bartender who blew us a kiss goodbye, asking us to wait for him at one of the bars until he got off work (which would be 3 hours later since the restaurant was opened until the AM).. Contemplating his offer, we decided that desperation was not an attractive quality so instead of sitting pathetically at some random bar in hopes of our Greek God walking through the door we got lost on our way back to metro, taking a 20 minute detour to our destination and almost getting hit by a car.. Love blinds you sometimes