When In Bruges
Trip Start Sep 11, 2008
16Trip End Dec 19, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
This week Vanessa's parents came to visit! On Thursday they came to the castle and saw our room and the grounds. Then, we all got dinner here and then we left for Belgium! The first city we stayed in was Bruges. It was about a 2 hour drive (since Vanessa's parents rented a car) from Well, and on the way we got to see a lot of the countryside and scenery nearby. We also basically filled in her parents on all the goings on at the castle. When we finally got to Bruges...oh my goodness was it pretty!! We were driving along, and then we turn left and all of a sudden there are these two gigantic windmills! We crossed over a drawbridge under this huge tower, and entered Bruges. It was almost like when you cross the bridge, you enter another time period. All the buildings look so old and antique. They look like buildings from people's Christmas villages the decorate with, you know? It was adorable. I feel like I compare every city to a disney movie, but for real...that's what Bruges was.
Anyway, we drove into Bruges and found our hotel. Now let me just start by saying that Vanessa's parents completely spoiled me this weekend. Like, they had no right at all to do that because now nothing will live up to the treatment I got this past weekend. Haha. They booked rooms at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Vanessa and I got our own room all to ourselves with 2 huge, super-comfy beds. Amazing. More amazing? Because its Belgium the hotel gave us free chocolate and hot cocoa. Oh My God. What was even cooler was the view from our room. It overlooked one of the main squares in Bruges, right next to the Stadhuis (which is basically the city hall). But we didn't know that when we got there the first night, and so all we saw was this absolutely
Friday morning we woke up and headed out into Bruges at 9:30. Too bad nothing in Bruges opens until 10! We got to walk around the city a bit before anyone was up and see what the city was like. We watched shop owners set up and explored the area near the main square a bit. The, once things started to open, we found a cute cafe in front of the belfry to get our first Belgian waffles. Mine had bananas and chocolate on it, and I'm pretty sure it was the most incredible waffle ever. In the whole world.
After getting back down all 366 steps (which was much easier than going up) we finally got to check out The Thing (which is when I found out its real name!). Man, I wish Shelton's town hall looked like that. The inside of it is just as gorgeous as the outside. It is completely decorated with murals and gold and tapestries. It was pretty mind-blowing to think that this place was a town hall. We spent awhile there learning about the history of Bruges, which incidentally used to be a major port city bigger even than Amsterdam. Did you know that? Haha. After checking out The Thing, V's parents continued the spoiling and took us on a horse and carriage tour of the city.
We got lunch there at a restaurant that Vanessa and I would never have been able to afford on our own, and which was delicious beyond words. I got Flemish Beef Stew since it was really cold and rainy outside. Best meal I've had here so far, I think. After lunch, we went shopping for a few souvenirs. Belgium is famous for lace, among other things, so we went into a cute lace shop to shop a bit. I was going to buy myself a beautiful lace handkerchief that had my initial on it, but then Vanessa's mom insisted that she buy it for me! These people just did not know when to stop with the spoiling! Vanessa got one too with her initial on it. We started talking to the woman who owned the shop, and she was adorable!
At this point in the day, it started to torrentially pour. I was so glad I had my raincoat, because even with it, my legs and feet were soaked! To escape the rain, we went into St. Jans' Hospital Museum, which sounded a lot more interesting than it actually was in my opinion. It was pretty cool to see all the crazy things they did to people that they thought would cure them in the old days, though. We saw a picture of "cataract surgery," which was basically someone getting stabbed in the eye. The hospital itself was cool because it was crazy old. It was started in the 1100s, and was used all the way up until the 1970s! Some of the artifacts that they have were pretty insane too. We stayed in the museum until it closed, and then Vanessa's dad headed back to the hotel. He was the smart one. Vanessa, her mom, and I kept walking around and got literally drenched. It was a mistake. We headed back to the hotel around 5:30 because Vanessa and I had to meet up with Anthony and Chris there because they were coming there to hang out with us for the night. Through a strange coincidence, they wound up bringing Noel too. It was weird and I didn't understand. Whatever. The group of us (minus V's parents) braved the rain to go out to a bar. We found a really nice one with a warm fire that we got to sit right next too. We all got some beers and had a really good time.
The second day in Bruges began with waffles again, this time with strawberries. After breakfast we went to the Gruuthuse Museum, which is the medieval home of a lord in Bruges who owned the Brewery and recipe for beer in the city. Basically, a very rich guy. In his house there are now collections of medieval artifacts from the area. It was very cool, but the home itself was the coolest part. It was very reminiscent of the castle in Beauty and the Beast (to reference another Disney movie). Beautiful. After that we went to the church across the street. It was beautiful too, but the house was cooler. Then, Vanessa's parents continued the spoiling by taking us on a canal tour. We got to see some amazing scenery of the city. From the water, you get a whole new perspective of life here. After the tour we grabbed lunch and began chocolate shopping! It was pretty epic.
Where I stayed