Bruges, Belgium

While Mr 416expat’s parents were visiting, they treated us to a trip to Bruges, Belgium.  Mr 416expat has gone on several business trips to mainland Europe but this was my first trip!  Armed with a Rick Steve‘s guide we were ready!

Rick Steve's Guidebook and Flemish Stew with Frites

We stayed at Jan Brito, a small hotel with a fabulous breakfast and very cosy rooms!  Breakfast is very important to me.  I love a good continental breakfast…yogurt, pastries, cheese, meats and fresh orange juice and I’m ready to go for the morning!

The city centre of Bruges is a UNESCO world heritage site.  It’s quite touristy with lots of lace shops, horse drawn carriages, and chocolate shops but there are loads of side streets to explore with neat buildings and stores.  One of my favourites was Fred and Ginger.  Their baby clothes are super cute and really unique.  They’re not afraid of bright colours in Belgium!  Unfortunately they don’t have stores outside of Belgium and don’t ship to the UK.  I think once Mr 416expats niece or nephew arrives he’ll have some shopping to do on his next business trip to Brussels.

Here are a few pictures of the city:

Swans...they have a lot of swans in Bruges

Bruges has been described as the Venice of the North due to its many canals

Bell tower in the Market Square

Bell tower at night

Market square

Statue in the Market Square

Bruges at night

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood

Dumon - family owned and operated

view from the top of the halve maan brewery makers of Bruge zot

more from the roof of the brewery

finally a beer i like...belgian cherry beer - Mr 416expat says it's not really beer

On our last day in Bruges Mr 416expat and I rented bikes from the hotel and biked to Damme, a small village 5km outside of Bruges.  It was a chilly day but the sun was warm and the road was flat.  The bike ride was really lovely.  I got my farm fix seeing some Holsteins (Jersey‘s are cuter), sheep, turkeys and geese.

Cycling towards Damme

really lovely bike ride

view back towards Bruges

Damme Town Hall

As we stood in front of the town hall, the clock stuck half past and the bells started.  It was really pretty and we have video/audio but wordpress isn’t playing nice and you’ll have to wait for Mr416expat to get home from work to sort it out.

church in Damme

After cycling around the village and countryside we stopped for a break to warm up.  Best idea ever.  We stopped in Tante Marie, a patisserie with the best hot chocolate!  It was a fabulous treat!

Mr 416expats americano served with shortbread and chocolate mousse

my hot chocolate...it came in a tea pot

geese! they looked happy...a little nervous about Christmas, but happy and well fed

sheep! just like on the farm at home

this guy was also worried about Christmas

It was a great trip!  Thank you to Mr 416expat’s parents for a great trip away with them!

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