Alternately, this post could be called “Bruges”. Not last weekend but the one before, I took a trip to Bruges, Belgium. I was lured by promises of Christmas markets, chocolate, ice skating, beer, boat rides through the canals, and last but certainly not least, waffles. The city more than made good on these expectations–walking through the streets, I felt like I had been transported straight into one of those little Christmas villages you can buy to set up on your bookcase or coffee table or you know, wherever, at Christmastime. It was charming.
And, indeed, we had waffles.
Weirdly, though, I discovered that I actuallydonotreallyliketrueBelgianstylewafflessosorryforgivemebye.
They were too crispy. I like my carbs doughy, what can I say….
I sampled plenty of chocolate, but more importantly, I saw this chocolate replica of Obama in the chocolate museum!
To be totally honest, I wouldn’t have picked this out as Obama if it hadn’t been for the sign telling me it was. But it’s still awesome. Even cooler than the chocolate Titanic I saw in Berlin. And that’s saying something.
We spent lots of time wandering through the streets of the city,
Bruges is actually known for its canals–I was told it’s called the Venice of the North? It certainly wasn’t as canal-ridden as Venice, but we still took advantage of the ones that were there with a canal cruise! This was a great way to see the city, but I was freezing by the end of it…a perfect excuse to go find some cute, cozy little restaurant and order a cup of tea. (Which probably happened four or five times over the course of the weekend. I can’t help it.)
(I hope these pictures are giving you a sense of how ridiculously charmingly beautiful Bruges is…I couldn’t get over it.)
We saw some famous art, too. Here’s a Michelangelo altarpiece:
Here’s what actually inspired me most in the church that housed it:
Why yes, those are small dogs depicted lying at the feet of the dead queen. Does anyone know where I can order at tomb like this?
Of course, one of my very favorite things was seeing the Christmas decorations and lights all over the city. It was the perfect way to welcome December!
(Got a little artsy on that last one, bet you weren’t expecting that! Things are getting crazy around here….)
It’s my blog, and I’ll fill it with amateur photographs of Christmas lights if I want to.
If there’s something I love more than Christmas lights, though, it’s food, so let’s get back to that. Because guess what I ate in Belgium? No really, guess. Just do it.
It involves these:
MOULES FRITES! I was so happy. So so happy. And in case you’re wondering, those frites were split shared by our table of eight. Just kidding, they were all mine.
No really, we shared them. Even I can’t down that many fries in one sitting.
Oh, funny story, though. After we left Beligium, my friends (who don’t eat meat except for fish, like me) and I found out that Belgian frites are fried in duck fat. Hehe, oopsie! Bad vegetarian. Pescetarian. Whatever. (I actually hate the word “pesectarian”, you automatically sound obnoxious when the words “I’m a pescetarian” come out of your mouth…I mean I am a pescetarian and I’m not sure there’s another food term that oozes more self-righteousness. Ick. Shudder.)
And Belgium wouldn’t be Belgium without any beer!
We went to this really cool, apparently well-known place called Bruges Beertje. It has hundreds of different beers or something completely insane like that. I really loved the atmosphere–it was very relaxed, and friendly, and there were all these cool old signs on the wall, and it just felt so perfectly and cozily Christmas. Yeah, I just made a beerhouse sound girly. Done and done.
Bruges was the perfect place for a December weekend trip. It’s not somewhere that I really ever thought about going before I got to Europe, but I’m so, so glad I did. One of the best parts about Europe is that it’s hard to choose a wrong city to travel to, really. But Bruges is no exception!
P.S. We were super fancy on the way home and ended up in first class…our train may or may not have been the Polar Express. It was.