Chocolate + Beer + Frites + Mussels = Brugge

Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Mar 16, 2011

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Flag of Belgium  , West Flanders,
Friday, July 9, 2010

9TH JULY 2010 - We left our hotel in Paris at 6.40am to get two trains to our pick up point.    We took about 1/2 hr to get to our pick up hostel.  We arrived at 7.10am for our bus at 8am  only to be told that our bus isn’t leaving till 11am.  The reason was because the bus arrived last night into Paris very late like 2.30am and the bus driver has to have 9 hrs break.  So we walked around this part of Paris which was rather seedy.  We grabbed some breakfast from a local bakery and then walked back to the hostel.  We finally got on the bus at 11.30am.  Feeling pretty tired Mary dosed off a few times on the bus but stayed awake when we heard “Beautiful Day” playing on the bus, love that song!  

Once again the countryside wasn’t too impressive but as we got closer into Belgium it got prettier.  There were lots of pretty houses and it was beautiful and green.  We had a few service stops and then finally arriving in Brugge about 5pm.  We checked into our hostel and showered and then went for a walk to explore.  

This town is really beautiful.  First we checked out the windmills and then walked around for several hours just checking out this gorgeous town. Its hard to describe, its just so pretty, roads are all cobblestones, houses are all packed together, lots of canals, lots of bikes parked up against windows covered with pretty flower arrangements, gorgeous white swans in the lake (our rellies) and lots and lots of beautiful chocolate, beer, lace shops and cool pubs, restaurants and cafes.   We walked into the main square, had frites from a local vendor outside the bellfry who have been selling them for years but really they weren’t  anything special.  

We walked back to our hostel and had dinner at a nearby restaurant.  We had mussels and frites. The mussels came out in a big black pot and Mary’s were cooked in a lemongrass and coconut sauce --- yum and Troy’s were cooked in a tomato sauce, yum.  We each had frites served in a paper conned bag which were nicer than what they sold at the bellfry.  We also got free beer samples (one cherry, one white beer and one other beer).  Cherry beer not bad for a non-beer drinker!  

Tired and hot we came back to our room and that was it for the night.  A hot and stuffy room which made it hard to sleep.  Having a shower was interesting, couldn’t control the water temperature and it was hot which isn’t quite what we wanted because it was a really hot night.  

10TH JULY 2010 - We didn’t realise that it was already 10.30am so we actually missed out on getting breakfast. A very hot night last night and our room was boiling and no temperature control on our shower (its always hot) so me no sleep, Troy slept. 

First of all we went to a nearby bakery and bought some local pastries, all so yummy and nice friendly English speaking staff.  We walked around town exploring the city gates, the canal and then walked into centre of the city.  This town is incredibly GORGEOUS and its very “snap happy” type of place for me.  We checked out some gorgeous shops filled with Christmas decorations, lace and chocolate.  The chocolate shops here are absolutely incredibly beautiful, the chocolates are so good and expensive. We did buy some but a tip we did get is to buy them from a supermarket but when we found a supermarket we didn’t see much variety and only got a block of chocolate. 

We decided that Mary needs a museum fix, yes MUSEUMS!  Remember I am not fond of them BUT we went to the chocolate museum.  Now that is my type of museum.  We walked through the museum checking out the history of chocolate, we saw a chocolate making demonstration and even saw a statue of Obama made out of chocolate.  There were some amazing sculptures all made of that delicious food, CHOCOLATE!  

After we finished at the chocolate museum we went to another museum.  Wow, two museums in one day for Mary is AMAZING.  The second museum is the Frites Museum (Chip Museum) yes the humble chip that was invented in Belgium even has a museum.  Once again we walked around here and checked out some history of potatoes.  Did you know that potatoes can help anxiety, gout, bags under eyes and they even can make you horny?  Well thats what they say!  Good to know they help bags under eyes because my “bags” are packed for Paris at the moment, they are quite puffy! Did you also know that french fries come from Belgium?  We had some “frites” as they are known here at the museum and they weren’t bad at all.  One tip is to cook them twice, once for 6 minutes and let them rest for 10 minutes to sweat and then cook them again for about 1-2 minutes.  To be honest we thought the chips here would be pretty special but they haven’t been anything like it, maybe we expected a bit much I don’t know!   

We left the museums and walked around the town. We went on a 1/2 hr boat cruise and it was nice, saw lots of pretty canals, churches, building, homes and got some great photos. We can’t believe just how many chocolate and beer shops there are here, its amazing for a small town, the chooses are endless. We walked into a beer shop and it was wall to wall covered with so many varieties of beer, incredible and which ones do you choose? Its also amazing for a small country there are 700 breweries here.  

Brugge is AMAZINGLY beautiful, people are friendly and its sooooo pretty, so glad we came here.  Its a quite a small town and so easy to walk around.  It has lots of tourists, millions of shops and you need to dodge the push bikes and horse drawn carriages. Lots of people here drive around in flash cars, most with their rooftops down. Belgium has about 1000 varieties of beer and we will try a few.

On the way home we stopped off at a supermarket.  We grabbed some beers.  Mary chose three beers (yeah 3 my god I don’t even drink the stuff).  I chose strawberry, peach and cherry beer and Troy picked two beers.  Mary holding her beers in the supermarket starts dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Beat it”, it was fun been a bit silly which isn’t often enough really.  Mary not a beer drink didn’t think cherry beer could be nice because we had it last night.  I still have strawberry and peach beer to try.

Well I have two beers left and think I will have them when they get cold.  The strawberry beer was ok but I think they really need to be cold.  

We went on a 2 hr walking tour tonight.  The guy was from New York and he could talk and he knew his stuff.  We walked around checking out some sights and then stopped at an Irish pub for a drink.  We ended our tour at a church and then walked back to the hostel.  Tired, hungry and hot we went and got a kebab and then bed. 

11TH JULY 2010 - After breakfast we packed our bags to go to Amsterdam.  We weren’t going to get picked up till about 1pm.  We dumped our bags and went for a walk.  We walked around town again, past some windwills (there is 4 of them here) which is more than I have seen in Amsterdam many years ago.  We met our guide at 1pm and we went on the bus leaving Belgium and going to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  The countryside in Belgium is pretty and one day we would like to come back and explore more of this beautiful country.
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