Our final stop in our European holiday was Bruges, Belgium. It wasn’t a place that I had been to prior or honestly knew anything about. It’s further out and off the beaten path. I was hesitant about it but trusted my husband who insisted on traveling here. He had been there after college traveling throughout Europe with his father and then alone for several weeks exploring. He loved it and insisted on adding it to our itinerary. So we did…
The train ride out took us from Amsterdam to Antwerp. We changed trains and I was flabbergasted at the beauty of the train station at our stop. It was breathtaking.
Sometimes in the midst of running from one place to another – you need to stop and look up! You may be amazed at what you see.
From here we took our final train to Bruges. It took a bit of time and passed through several tiny towns and left me a bit apprehensive of what exactly Bruges would hold in store for us. We arrived and took a taxi to our hotel. Our plan was to stay two nights and three days and then head back to a hotel near Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris before our flight the final afternoon.
We arrived at the hotel and were just steps away from the center square. Many restaurants, canals, churches and charm were abound. Seriously this was the most charming city I’ve been to since Lucern, Switzerland -which if you know me is my absolute favorite place on earth. It was slow-paced. Charming. Horse-drawn carriages. Chocolate (hello, lover), handmade lace, beer (not for me but for my father and husband), a 16 year drinking age (yes my daughter was loving her experimenting) and waffles. Rough life.
The waffles were the best anyone has ever had in their life. Seriously… hello Belgium waffles! They came on sticks, from street vendors, restaurants etc. Dipped in Belgium chocolate…. topped with ice cream whatever or however you wanted them.
Okay let me refocus and tell you about the city. Many canals again. I highly recommend exploring the city on foot. It’s very small and easy to get around to shopping, touring, churches, restaurants etc. I also think the best way to view a city is by boat, when available. We did a lovely 50 minute boat tour with the best guide ever.
We were told that this is the most photographed dog in Belgium. He just stayed in the window on his bed both ways of our boat tour. #lifegoals
This city was a bit harder to eat vegan/gf I’ll be honest. They are quite meat-based but we made do.
I don’t drink alcohol but I did have two beer drinkers with me. Suffice it to say that they were not lacking in choices. One bar had over 400+ beer choices. What??
While traveling through Europe you would be remiss not to visit some churches. This was a small church in the city center. It was small yet amazing. We toured and as we always do, lit candles for special people in our lives.
My youngest loved the horses that were right outside our hotel.
We also enjoy going to local markets in the city when they’re available. My husband and I aren’t big on buying souvenirs but I did pick up local spices, Belgium chocolates and a lace handkerchief for a special bride to use this September. I did meet a lovely local woman who was selling scarves her husband made on a loom. They were stunning and my husband insisted on buying one for me. It’s my favorite and most cherished item from the trip. Funny enough, while strolling through the city 7 hours after purchasing the scarf – a man was walking with his loom heading home. He caught my eye and gave me the biggest smile. He was the man that made my scarf and the husband to the woman I had met earlier. He thanked me and we had a moment to connect. Such a fond memory connecting.
We did run both mornings that we were there and our hotel supplied running maps. We were thrilled to run by windmills (actually 4 of them) and near castles. Made running so much more memorable for sure.
This castle picture turned out to be one of my favorites that my husband took. I remember the morning so well. Running cobblestones, not worrying about pace or mileage… just taking it all in.
I’m planning on doing one last post about traveling safety – how to protect passports, credit cards, packing two adults in one suitcase and some other tips. Stay tuned.
— Knead to Cook