Friday, April 15, 2005

Brugge, Belgium

Okay, I'm pretty convinced that today was my favorite part of the entire Europe trip. We went to a medieval town called Brugge in Belgium today and it was awesome! :) Our overnight train got done around 8:30 and then we switched trains a couple of times before finally arriving in Brugge at 12:30. At that time it was raining pretty hard and didn't look like it was going to be much fun here. :-/ But we eventually found our way to the hostel, checked in and chilled there a little bit before heading out around 2:30 or so. By that time it had thankfully stopped raining, but it was still pretty cloudy out. But we walked towards the old town and was immediately overcome by its beauty. The first thing we found was a beautiful little canal that wound around some great green grass and flowers and trees. We took a nice path next to it for a while and walked towards three old windmills. They were fairly big and really cool to see. Then we wandered through a more residential area of Brugge but enjoyed it a lot because the houses and just all the architecture of the town is splendid. The paint is crisp and fresh, the colors are great and the designs are fun. Good stuff. :) So we got into the main section of town and it was just so wonderful. One of the first things we did was find this old-time chocolate shop and bought a bunch of amazing and unique chocolate there. The atmosphere in it was great and the lady who helped us with old and so sweet and funny too. It was very cool. :) Then wandering the town was beautiful. The buildings are amazingly preserved medieval buildings and the town is laced through with a maze of small canals. It was so pretty. :) There are also some very cool churches with amazing steeples and architecture. There are two big squares, the Markt and the Burg which are surrounded by cool shops and buildings and stuff. In the Markt, there is also the huge Belfry tower which was neat to see. So, we basically just wandered around seeing the town and I was falling in love with it. By around 5 or 6 the sun had even come out and it was just wonderful then. We made our way over to a pretty little lake called the Lake of Love and sat there for awhile eating chocolate and watching the hilarious birds on the lake. :) That was fun and then the sun was starting to wind down so we thought we'd call it a day. We were making our way out of town and then ran across a store called "Claeys"!! It was AWESOME!! I was so stoked, you wouldn't believe. My last name is Belgian and they had a store with my name all over it. I got a zillion pictures and had the biggest grin after that. :D So anyhow, we walked over to the train station to see how far it was and then walked back to the hostel. Grabbed a box of assorted flavor crackers on the way back to have for dinner. :-P Got back to the hostel around 9:15 and it was still fairly light out. I don't think it got totally dark here until almost 9:45- it was ridiculous. So we had a late dinner of crackers around 10 and had a nice talk about things for almost two hours until just a bit ago. But now I'm pretty tired and need to be up early tommorow, so better get some rest.

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