A merry trip back in time

Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 13, 2012

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Flag of Belgium  , Flanders,
Saturday, December 25, 2010

  After another hour + journey from Antwerp, we were on the outskirts of Brugge.  Smaller city, of only about 200 000 people.  We drove into the old section of town, parked the car and began exploring this ancient looking city.  Walking around you just had this feeling of being like on a movie set or something, as everything was all perfectly painted, and clean as a whistle.  It's almost impossible to not stop at stare at the unique architechture.  Small canals, stone bridges, old Cathedrals that date back 300 years.  Fancy boutiques and restaurants lined the streets.   This place had an amsterdam kind of feel to it with all the canals, but minus the huge crowds of tourists.  This was where I was to be spending my Christmas day, and was happy with this descision within minutes of arriving. 

    The four of us went to the main square, and with all this Belgian history, restaurants, waffles and chocolates, can you guess what we chose??  French fries of course.  But it was all good, because the place had a million and 1 flavours to choose from and everyone grabbed their own.     My sauce of choice...samurai.  Highly recommended on Matt's world junk food list of must tries.  That list will be published at a later time and place. 

   Later on that afternoon we said goodbye to Melda and Ziya, who had to turn around head back 4 hours in the car to Amsterdam.  It was very nice of them to drive us down so far, but just as nice to have to nice company the whole way.   It was Christmas Eve and we had to make our way to our hostel.  It was a large bar, that had some rooms up above.  It seemed to be the most happening place in town, which still wasn't that busy.  It was a real treat to spend christmas in a beautiful city such as Brugge, with very little crowds. With the history of the city and the small crowds, it made it feel more cozy instead of commercial.   Ceyda and I went for a late night walk to see some of the shops.  Only a few other people roaming the streets at this time, which made it feel like we had the city to our selves.  It was great for taking picture perspective.  Made for some great post card shots.   We headed back to the hostel, which just sounds funny.  I wanted  to see if Santa would leave me any gifts at the hostel?

    Well I guess Santa didn't get the memo that I have been traveling for 10 months, so I guess I will let it slide this year that there was no stocking.   There wasn't anything that I wanted anyways.  Everything I could have wanted.....I was doing.....traveling.  That's it.  Of course peace on earth and good will to mankind, but I am talking strictly on a personal level.   Family and all my friends would have been hard to stuff in a stocking anyways. 

     On our Christmas morning walkbout, surprisingly there was quite a bit of people roaming    around.  I remember think how picturesque everything was.  We were one block away from the main square, when I noticed a older man and woman walking towards us on the same side of the sidewalk.  They were both bundled up in their nice fur coats, with matching hats.  They were clearly dressed for the weather.  But what the odd part was, that the old man was wearing no pants.  Hey saw me giving him the up and down trying to figure out why a grown man is walking down the street in Brugge, Christmas day, 12 in the afternoon?  That would make for an interesting story to be honest.  He smiled and winked at me as he walked past, and continued on like nothing happened.  It all happened so fast I had to do a double take to make sure that it really happened.  I swung around to grab a quick pic of the man, because I didn't think people would have believed me had I told them.   I needed to convince myself that I am not going crazy too.....Not yet atleast.

    Our last order of busniess while we were in town, was to meet Ceyda's old friend from university and her boyfriend Nicky.  We went for drinks at a small cafe in the central square and laughed at some of the differences between such a large country as Canada, and a small country like Belgium.    They were also a bit eager to hear some travel stories, so I shared the infamous elephant story.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to tell that story, and sometimes I am so sick of telling it.  I have so many stories I could sit people down for months....that is not an exaggeration at all either.  After our brief metting, they walked us to the train station to show us where we needed to head the following morning as we were to head on to Brussels.  We bid farewell to them and went to wonder the city one last time before heading back to the hostel and pack our things for our morning of travel.

    Since it was Christmas day, I had to make a phone call to the family to give my regards, and do my weekly I'm still alive phone call.   With the time change, it was late in the evening in Brugge, and the only place I could get internet was in the loud from Bar of our hostel.  Yelling over the loud music being played, I got to talk with the family back home.  I felt right like I was there, with my mom running off to grab the turkey and show me on video chat.  Not sure what the purpose of showing me the turkey was....I guess via skypevideo showing me he turkey's backside, I would feel the Christmas spirit of Canada.  That's my mom :)  My brother mooned me on camera behind my parents back.....it was just like I was there.  I had a few good chuckles with everyone, gave them a quick update of me, and wished them the best for the rest of their holidays.  My sister was also away from home for the holidays.  She was in Portugal with a friend of hers, so I also had a good catch up chat with her, while she wore her reindeer hair band, and red rudoplh nose.  It was a very 21st century christmas for us this year with all of us staying connected via computers. 

    Brugge was a great place to be for Christmas day.  I think it would be an amazing stop anytime of year.  I remember walking down the streets early Christmas morning, and people standing on street corners playing christmas carols on their violins.  My dad every Christmas wakes us all up around 8 am, playing christmas carols on his violin.  Brought a smile to my face, and almost a tear jerker moment.  Missed waking up that way babi.

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