The next stop on our trip was Bruges, Belgium. We stayed at the Hotel de Goezeput, the only hotel typical hotel we used while in Europe.
This was the most laid-back and relaxing leg of our vacation – not because we didn’t do anything, but because nothing was really planned ahead of time.
We started with our traditional McDonald’s meal.
The best part of Belgium in my opinion was Chez Albert. We ended up grabbing snacks from this shop many times and got to know the owner, Sabine.
I particularly liked this statue. It might be called “The Lovers” or some variation on that, but I couldn’t find definitive information on the Internet.
We did some wandering around the city, including some exploration of windmills.
Here’s a closer look at my friends. It looks like they were up to something.
There was a hill near one of the windmills that gem couldn’t help but roll down! I might have done so too 🙂
When we got back to the hotel, we got ready for bed. gem and Anela played Papers, Please on my laptop while I showered. Glad they enjoyed it!
We started the next day with more Chez Albert. I told you Sabine would get to know us.
Chocolate is a must in Belgium, so we did some shopping. I really liked a shop called Chocolates & Happiness, which put cute quotes on their boxes of chocolates. I bought a few boxes to take home.
Next up was the “In Bruges” walking tour by “Can You Handle It? Tours” with our tour guide, Steve. It was a fun a little tour, and the highlight was probably the beer museum. I enjoyed Arthur’s Legacy (Limited Edition), Kriek Boon (a delicious cherry beer – my favorite), and Rosso Red Fruit beer. The tour also took us to Chocolaterie de Burg, a chocolate shop that came recommended to us.
Sometimes we have to take a quick break for a photo!
Here we all are with a canal behind us.
This is the Madonna and Child, sculpted by Michelangelo, in the Church of Our Lady.
And this is a touristy photo in front of it. Honestly, it was a bit lackluster to me, but I’m glad I got to see it.
Here’s another nice shot of us together.
We found a shop with a chocolate fountain and bought some sweets mostly so we could use the fountain. I dropped some of my chocolates though. Sad times.
Oh no! We were running low on sweets! Sabine could save us though.
We had dinner at ‘t Vagevuur because it offered a discount to people from the walking tour. The discount applied to a limited menu, and I wasn’t that impressed. However, we did run into Stevie again. For those of you not keeping track, we met her on a train in the Netherlands a few days earlier. How awesome is that?
After dinner we got some drinks at a bar and then stuffed ourselves with fries covered in various toppings from a little stand before heading back to the hotel.
The next morning we got some delicious bagel sandwiches from Sanseveria on our way out of Bruges. We met a couple from Atlanta who had breakfast with us. They were in Belgium for a conference. One of them worked for the CDC and was a public health professor at a university – pretty cool. After our tasty breakfast, we took a train to Kortrijk. We were supposed to continue by train to Paris, but that’ll be a story for next time.