Sacred Frites, Sacred Waffle &The Sacred Lamb

Trip Start Feb 12, 2008
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So we have divided up this entry into our favorite things from Brussels. Here goes mine...

In all honesty, I was not looking forward to Brussels that much. Originally we had planned to go to Rome or Madrid...but we hesitated...and the price doubled. So to Brussels on the Eurostar it was.

...and I am thankful that we did...my waistline not so much...but it was worth it! So spending our days on the streets of Belgium pretty much went like this: waffle-lunch-beer-waffle-frites-beer...

As you step off from the train in Brussels you are immediately exposed to the sweet scent of the holy Belgian waffle. I am a firm believer that the Belgian's purposefully pump that smell into the air so it follows you no matter wher you go and creates a constant hunger for one. I personally am a waffle purist; however most people will get them dipped in chocolate and loaded with whipped cream and strawberries. Those Belgians have it tough...

And that brings us to my second favorite thing in Brussels...the Pommes Frites! (Or french fries) As many of you know, I am a connoisseur of the potato...especially of the fried variety...and I can honestly say they were the best ever. Belgian frites are fried not once but twice in the best quality oil and are always prepared fresh for you...never sitting under a heat lamp. So it was no wonder that 2 out of 3 dinners were spent solely dinning on frites. Luckily the best stand was conveniently located just across the street from our hotel. We stayed at the Novotel right off Grand Place, right in the center of the city. It was a great location and to tell you the truth after spending almost 2 months in someone else's home, it was really nice to be in a hotel...oh the luxury of anonymity!

When we had made our way from frite stand to waffle stand and covered most of Brussels, we decided to tackle the culinary delights of Ghent and maybe fit in a cultural activity. Of course we had already planned where we wanted to have lunch and it didn't disappoint! After getting off the train we headed straight to the center of the city to visit the still working medieval meat market. We had planned to dine in a café within the market, but when we arrived the market was filled with stalls selling fresh meat, cheeses, bread and beer. So we split up to find the best of all 4 and made a picnic lunch (under a heat lamp) in the middle of the market. The atmosphere was certainly authentic with slabs of curing meat hanging from the rafters.

After lunch we made out way to one of the highlights of the whole trip - to see The Adoration of the Sacred Lamb housed in the Cathedral of St. Bavo. St Bavo's Cathedral is the oldest parish church in Ghent and the earliest records date it as far back as the 10th century. The painting is heralded as one of Europe's most treasured and I felt lucky to have been able to see it for myself. The painting is made up of 12 different panels and is a masterpiece for its realism and I was in awe of the detail. We did the whole tour and it was well worth the time in getting to know this painting.

So I started off less than excited about Brussels and ended up not wanting to leave. I have found that I love Belgium and as it was almost our home at one time in this whole process, I could definity see myself living there...but I would have to be cautious if I ever want to fit into the same clothes! I am ldefinitely looking forward to planning day trips to Brussels just to have my fix off all my new favorites.

So this entry is probably not as witty as Kris' but I hope you enjoyed finding out a little more about our weekend in Brussels. And make sure to stay tuned for our next entry on our new flat. We move this weekend and I will be filling you all in on our first home together very soon!...well at least when we get internet!
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