Vicki and Dan's version of the movie 'In Bruges'
Trip Start Jun 16, 2011
34Trip End Ongoing
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Our next task was to work off our lunch with a walk up the bell tower (belfry). There was quite a line and we were surprised to find out that the entry fee had gone up 2 euros since In Bruges was made. Perhaps it became more popular after that so they decided to cash in on it... Anyway, the climb was busy, narrow and steep so there were a few hair-raising moments. We discovered that Dan's dislike of heights is well matched by Vicki's fear of spiral staircases
The next thing on the list (also from the movie) was a boat tour. We were sitting in what the tour guide called the romantic spot on the boat (at the back) and the speakers didn't really work so we only caught every second word the guide said which was a bit unfortunate. It was, however, a great way to get an idea of the layout of the city and a feel for the architecture and where we would like to visit again. It was autumn and a really pretty time of the year - hopefully that will come across in some of the photos.
We then went to our first (of many) chocolate shops and were sold on some traditional chocolates. We weren't quite sure what they were - and still aren't - but they were white on the inside and covered in milk chocolate. Very rich and very delicious. We also got some Christmas chocolates, some chocolates for our work colleagues, chocolates for every occasion really!
We then headed towards our accommodation in a dilly dally fashion, stopping to have a look at shops along the way. We had some trouble finding our accommodation as it didn't have a sign or anything distinguishing it. It looked just like a house... Hmm... We discovered that our hostelworld booking was in fact for a room at a lady's house so we were actually in the right place. Our host was very upset that we had spent a day in Bruges without her having planned any of it and wasted no time in making us a dinner booking (for 9pm
We had a walk around the city at night on the way to our dinner reservation. More chocolate shops along the way and also stopped to check out some Christmas stores and a few bits of lace here and there - in terms of shopping Bruges has a really impressive selection. A few times we were amazed at the shopkeepers and their ability to switch between languages. Often people would guess that we were French but when it took us a few seconds to respond would say 'or English' and then carry on telling us in perfect English that there was more downstairs or about the special they had going on. Vicki spotted a nice bookshop which had free wine and cheese and so went and had a look (and enjoyed a bit of free cheese) much to Dan's amusement as 'you can't even read any of the books!'. True, but you can still look and enjoy free cheese!
Anyway - the dinner that night at Cumbrinos (as recommended by our host) was very nice. We had a ploughmans-type platter at the bar to start so that made the wait until 9pm for dinner much easier. Dan drank the beers that our host had told him to, and ate the recommended meal (meat cooked in the recommended beer - making the most of the Belgian beer reputation)!. Vicki even braved the beer world and enjoyed her apple beer so a lovely dinner all-up.
The following day we had breakfast and looked around the Diamond Museum
We had to catch the train so left the Belgian waffles until we stopped to change trains in Brussels. We tried to find somewhere nice near the station in Brussels but got a bit lost and couldn't find anywhere nice to eat. Unfortunately the station isn't in the best location so we didn't get a very good impression of Brussels and headed back inside the station. We did find some Belgian waffles in the station and learnt the difference between Liege and Belgian waffles - apparently Liege waffles (which are also from Belgium) have added sugar but Belgian waffles don't. We had some yummy Belgian waffles but have to say that they didn't quite match home-made Norwegian waffles...
After that it was time for the train home again - another lovely weekend away and for Dan another new country to add to his list of places visited.