Adieu Paris..Hallo Belgium..and some chocolate!

Trip Start Nov 20, 2012
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Trip End Dec 25, 2012


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Flag of Belgium  , West Flanders,
Thursday, November 29, 2012

An early morning train ride from Gare Nord.. One of Paris' main stations onboard the swift, comfortable & spacious Thalys  line and we arrive in Brussels Belgium ...for a transfer to Brugge , our home for two days. Even the connecting country  trains have precision timetables... hardly any waiting time and it's "All Aboard" again.The country side changes yet again to flat, lush green fileds with boggy wet areas.. and yes , that big black cloud up there is the forecast..Cold & Rain!! The train travels along soo smoothly,the 262 kms is done in One hour 20 mins... The Brussels to Brugge leg of approx 90 kms takes one hour.  Bruges is called "The Venice of the North" ..This splendid medieval city has approx 45,000 in the old town centre & approx 120,000 in total The best way to visit Bruges is to spend at least one night in one of the many beautiful and cozy hotels. Later in the evening, when all the tourists have gone, Bruges finds back its charm and quiet of old times. Our Accommadation is in a local homestay appartment via the AirBnb website... a 2 bedroom/ 3 level place in the old city is a delight...Host Phillipe has all requirements covered..being able to relax in the newly tenovated townhouse is wonderful.,he has maps, suggested itineraries , restaurants etc to help make the stay more  enjoyable. Wandering around the old town is like stepping back in time.. with the wonderfull buildings, the calm serene canals and the cobble stones,
The place is a photographers delight.
Being Xmas market  season the main square is a buzz with special wooden cabins selling crafts, winter attire, Xmas items, local foods & drinks... so many Belgium beers here and hot mulled wine.. found a nice hot "white" to keep the chills away..
The temporary ice skating rink is something to see.. adorned with massive led bright white light trees and plenty of skaters showing their prowess or ability to stay upright..
The local restaurants have their fires burning.. literally..inside, whilst outside they too have created a winter wonderland...All so picture perfect..
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