Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beer in Bruges, Chocolate Truffles in Brussels

Friday morning 4:45am: Our alarm goes off. We give it the smack down. We’ll catch the next train.

5:45am: Alarm goes off. Mumble and roll over.

So are we going to Belgium, or spending another day in Amsterdam? If we’re going, then we have to make a move now...

Yes, we decide we’re going for it.

7:15am: Board train to Antwerp, where we’ll connect to Bruges.....

11:30am: Leave our bags in a train station locker. Rent bikes again. You can see the look of tired on my face.

This little girl was so cute, I couldn't resist taking a picture. 

The overprotective American mom in me thinks, where are the helmets? Eek.

Tool around the city for a couple hours. Eat the most delicious waffle with ice cream and hot fudge in a cafe. Chase it with fries from a street vendor a little later.

Bruges was once a capital city for European trade during medieval times. Now it's a cute, quaint little city catering to tourists. It would have been nice to slow down the pace and spend the night, but he saw most of the highlights.

Pick up some souvenirs. Talked with the shop owner who makes all this incredible lace by hand.

Ride closer to the coast to see the windmills.

4:00pm: Tour the De Halve Mann Brewery

We thought it was going to be your typical brewery tour. They talked more about the brewery's history, rather than the generic beer making process itself, which made it more interesting.

Tasting the Brugse Zot. I'm normally not a beer drinker, but this was really tasty.

After the beer break, it was time to get moving again. We rode our bikes back to the train station, picked up our bags and boarded a train to Brussles.

7:15pm: Arrive in Brussels

The Mannekin Pis Apparently, this little guy is a famous landmark.

We window shopped all the candy stores. We found a great one where the salesperson let us taste-test to our hearts' content. We assmebled this nice little box from their truffle buffet (!). See the top two on the right an left...Biscoff truffles, but with a lighter, praline-like filling.

9:30pm: Had a lovely, traditional dinner. Anything with stew or gravy in the decription normally scares me, but this was perfect. Not too heavy, very flavorful, and full of falling-off-the-bone meat. Mr.B had beef, and I had rabbit. Our sauces tasted very simmilar, except mine had raisins and chunks of potato in it, and his was served with fries on the side. I didn't think to take a picture until we were done eating.

11:00pm: Stopped in a pub for a nightcap. I skipped the beer and went for a cappucino. They topped it with shaved chocolate and an extra square on the side. This was a no chocolate left behind mission.

6:30am: Check out of the hotel.

These tennis-ball sized muffins and 10oz drinks cost us 12.50 euro, which translated to approximately a $20 USD charge on our Mastercard. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons we don't do these oversees trips as often as we'd like. It adds up fast!

7:30am: Catch another train. At first we thought we thought we were getting on the B Train by mistake. Luckily took us to Brussels International for our flight home, not the Bronx :)

10am: Board flight and pass out until we arrive in NY.


  1. WoW!!! What an adventure. I've never been out of the country. If/when I do go, I'll probably do one of those silly tour guided things... this looks so perfect, what an amazing way to explore, eat, drink, and see! PS. The truffles look to die for!

  2. What an awesome trip! I love how you guys can pick your destination at the last minute like that!

    Sounds like you got in plenty of activity in spite of a lighter running week than you might hope for. :-)

  3. Beer, chocolate, and peeing statues.... that sounds like my kind of vacation! (:

    First class too?! How do you guys get so lucky. I'm so nervous to attempt a non-rev trip to Europe, but it's a big goal of mine to travel there with my husband some day. Looks like you had a fun but exhausting trip.

  4. Oh, you two will have such a blast! His company probably have zed-ID90 agreements for international flights don't they?

    It was the perfect time to go. Flights were wide open both ways, and the weather was mild. Most attractions that closed for the winter were just re-opening, but "high season" doesn't start until mid-late March so we still got off-season pricing and the crowds were minimal.

  5. Almost everyone speaks fluent English and most signs, menus, etc. are in English, if you have any trepidation. It would easy place ot navigate on your own.

    With the exchange rate, that ended up being almost a $50 usd box of chocolates. i almost wanted to die when I saw that, lol. They were realyl good though. You only live once :)

  6. Looks like the perfect destination for a whirlwind getaway, you certainly made the most of it, too! I love that lace shop... gorgeous. And biking, sampling chocolates, being kid-free-- I'm so jealous! :)

  7. You two crazy kids! :) You sure do know how to make the most of every hour!

  8. I love your quick trip recaps! Brussels is one of my favorite European cities. I spent a good amount of time there while living in Italy on school trips. The fries and waffles are to DIE for. You just made me crave them so bad!!

  9. what an adventure! looks awesome!

  10. Brussles had never really been on our radar as a place to visit. I'm glad we got to have a glimse. It was really charming!

  11. Oh my gosh--I can't tell you how much I LOVE Bruges! We went there years ago and loved every bit of it. Beer, chocolate and of course, the waffles. Oh, and the charm of it all, too! ; )