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Monday, May 9, 2011

{Trip Report} Bruges, Belgium!

Hello, hello! I hope everyone had a fab weekend and Mother's Day. I had a grand day filled with lots of love and attention. Don't you wish Mother's Day came around more than once a year?!

Let's get back to the Trip Reports....thank you for the fabulous, sweet comments on the Paris post. We did have a fabulous time there, but it was time to leave our sweet hotel and board the high-speed train to Belgium!

train to belgium

It was an easy 90 minute train ride with gorgeous views.


french countryside

There is no denying the lure of Paris, but we found an equally magical place on our next stop of the trip....Bruges, Belgium!

bruges 4

As with our trip to Santorini, Bruges arrived on our radar from a movie.


In Bruges

The historic town is near the coast (west of Brussels), and because of the intricate canals in the city center, referred to as 'The Venice of the North.'

bruges 5

Bruges is like a fairytale, with cobbled streets and sidewalks and medieval architecture.

bruges 2

It's easily navigated on bicycle (as most locals do), and a boat tour through the canals was the perfect introduction to this city established in the 12th century.

bruges 1

We lucked out with several days of beautiful weather (although cooler than Paris), and Spring put on a show!

blooms

Of course we had to dig into the food right away, and learned the Belgians eat their waffles in the afternoon...at Tea Time! Sounds good to me!

tea time

These ain't Eggos either! (No offense to my beloved Eggo.) They are light as air with a crispy shell and soft center. We made our way through most of the toppings available (powdered sugar, fresh cream, fruit, chocolate and nutella). They are divine, but don't feel overly indulgent. (Good thing since I'd already been forced in to wearing spandex.)

What is indulgent are the Chocolatiers found on every block. It's just as amazing as you'd imagine. I'll pause while you drool over the pics.

chocolate

One of the few 'sights' is the Belfry (or Bell Tower) in the city's market center. It's open to walk the three thousand hundred sixty-six tiny stairs to the top.

the belfry

We were rewarded with fabulous 360-degree views of the city, and a glimpse at the giant, working clock.

view from belfry

Of course after any kind of exertion, we were always ready for a snack! One of the other Belgian staples is frites...or fries. They even have fritteries, that specialize in making The Perfect Fry. An interesting twist is the selection of sauces they like to dip...their favorite being mayonnaise. (We didn't actually combine the frites with the waffles, but one was always in our menu rotation.)

snack time

The city center is also home to the weekly Farmer's Market....where all the locals stock up on fresh food and flowers. Listening to them sell their goods in Flemish definitely sucked us in!

farmer's market

Because the dollar is doing so fabulous *insert sarcasm*, we didn't do a lot of shopping. But one of my favorite stores was Dille & Kamille...every kitchen gadget you can imagine, along with some fabulous table-setting wares.

dille & kamille

Most of our time was spent just exploring. It's a peaceful place straight from a storybook, and I was expecting to see Snow White appear at any moment.

bruges 3

bruges 6

Our last day, we biked out into the countryside about 10 miles...simply gorgeous.

countryside

Bruges is not a city full of must-see sights, but a place to wander, explore, taste and easily imagine life there 800 years ago.

bruges polaroid

The final leg of our trip is up next! Then I think it might be time to pick up a glue gun again.

* And for the record, there are some museums in Bruges. You may be surprised to hear I sat them out. If you're interested in the Salvador Dali museum, check with Mr. Sugarplum for details.

36 comments:

  1. cycling in the countryside looks like a dream to me. soooo beautiful.

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  2. Cassie this is such a great report, i havent been to Brugges since i was at school! Its definitely time for another visit!
    Rachie xo
    PS: The hubs looks lovely!

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  3. snap. i need to start looking up eurorstar tix, like, now! i want those waffles in my tummy. :)

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  4. Beautiful! I think I too could eat my way through the country. YUM!!

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  5. Too right...that definitely looks straight out of a fairy tale! And I'm definitely drooling over the food...waffles, fries, and chocolate...that is *my* kind of menu! Happy monday, my dear, I can't wait for the last part of your trip!

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  6. wow, I have never been there but it sounds like my perfect vacation. Those waffles look divine, they have my mouth watering!

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  7. What beautiful pictures and I'm sure wonderful memories that you made there together! Sounds just dreamy!

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  8. You had me at crispy shell and soft center. I am nuts for a great waffle. Such a wonderful trip. And by posting you are so ahead of the game with getting all of the photos labeled and organized. I always forget what and where we went. And you look adorable in all of them.

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  9. Simply stunning! I totally am interested in the city now. How long did you and the Mister stay? Second, tell me about the fries/frites -- I appreciate a culture who has emphasis on fried foods.

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  10. Looks like a dream. You're so good at showing it all off. You should do this for the travel channel, just jet around and report. On second thought, maybe I want that job...!

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  11. Thanks for introducing me to somewhere I would've never considered. I love Dali museums! And the fact that the mister takes good pictures. I'm never in any of mine! haha

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  12. How fun, girl! More and more jealous of your trip every day! (: That waffle looks incredible!

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  13. Brugges is one of my favorite cities in the world! I would love to go back with my hubby one day.

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  14. This leg of your trip looks amazing. I am dying to visit now. Brussels looks like a fairytale.

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  15. Brugges is my favorite place in the world.. I must go back now!!!

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  16. Looks just splendid! And you look so chic, loving your scarf!

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  17. Your pictures look SO dreamy (& so does the waffles, fries, & oh the chocolate. YUM). Definitely pulled right out of a fairy tale.

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  18. Oh this post just made my heart ache for Bruges- I have pictures of me in so many of those spots and I agree, it's just totally magical there. So happy to see these stunning photos lovely!! xo

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  19. JEALOUS! Oh my God. I love Bruges! Such a quaint gorgeous little town. Oooh, and the beer. And chocolate and frites with mayonnaise: all together please! Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you!

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  20. Another amazing travel report. Need to visit this town! I miss Europe so much when I see this. Ahh....

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  21. Very cool post. Your trip looks amazing!

    www.birdietobe.blogspot.com

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  22. I have yet to board a flight across the pond.
    This summer should be the summer.



    Rashon aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting

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  23. Absolutely beautiful! And fries, waffles, chocolate -- sounds like perfection!

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  24. I'm glad you didn't listen to me and brought the boots b/c you look gorg!! Your recaps are awesome, I like the biking around the countryside, but that kitchen store!! Wow!

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  25. Great pics - takes me back! Glad you had such a nice time!

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  26. LOVE the pictures of your trip! Would you consider writing a post on how you and your husband prepare for a trip? You mentioned traveling on a budget, so your tips for finding accommodations, deciding what to do while you're there etc, all while being conscious of a budget?

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  27. Hi, my name is Cassie and I travel the world and look ridiculous adorable doing it. The end.

    PS. You cheated on our Eggos??? I'll forgive you, but only because it was the real deal!!

    PPS. So glad you guys had so much fun : ) AMAZING pictures !

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  28. Thank god for stretchy pants! This place looks ah-mazing!

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  29. Gorgeous pictures! I love the windmill one. I lived in Germany as a child and went back in the early 90s to do Europe via the trains. We found them unbearable due to all of the smoking. Has that changed or is it any better? Your pictures really are incredible!

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  30. Oh my!! This looks amazing! Brugges is officially on my list of places I want to go to soon!!

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  31. I wish I was with you! It looks like an absolute blast. :)

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  32. I loved Brugges. Though we went in January, and I've never been so cold. We stopped for waffles every couple hours to warm up. :)

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  33. I love Brugge! Your pictures are beautiful!

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  34. Love this! I'm researching day trips from Paris before our big summer trip and was just looking at Bruges! Will have to add you as a source on my site -- thanks!

    www.voyage-on.blogspot.com

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Your comments are like crack, or popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. And unfortunately, because of insane amounts of spam, I've had to disable Anonymous comments for awhile. I just didn't need any more information on penis enlargements! But you can always email me! xoxo, cass

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