Tag Archives: Brugge

Day 17 – Brussels to Brugge

I got up and packed for another travel day. Downstairs I got some bread and butter with some tea, and eventually met up with Nicole and Karaline. We went out to the Comics Museum, which wasn’t open yesterday but it sounded somewhat interesting. How wrong we were. We went there and walked around, but really it was a bunch of comics that I did not know at all, all in French, and nothing too exciting. There was a lot of Tin Tin, and some Smurfs, and then some other slightly familiar stuff. I kind of want to read this one comic with this cool looking guy wearing a captains hat. Forgot what the name was.

Anyhow, left for Brugge at the train station. I just missed the last train, so I was waiting for the next one. But I didn’t really understand the train situation, this being the first time taking an actual continental train. So I missed that train too. And also apparently it was on a different platform. So I finally caught the right train and got to Brugge.

Brugge is a really cute place. Very traditional cobblestone and small alleyway Europe. This is the small town one might dream of when thinking of “small European town”. I walked for a while to get to the hostel, but not too long since it only takes about 30 minutes to cross the entire town. I got into my room and immediately this girl asks where I’m from. When I said “California” she said “I called it!”, which makes me wonder how recognizable it is. Maybe it’s the long hair curling out of my hat? Maybe its the extremely relaxed disposition and countenance? Who knows. Anyhow, we both had just arrived so we decided to go explore.

First we went to the Belfry, which is a large clock-tower in the center of town. We walked up the 366 steps, which were all in a spiral so it was a little bit dizzying. Up at the top there was all the clock mechanisms and chimes and such, and it looked like one of those miniature song playing wind up toys where you have a central cylinder with bumps and some metal keys which it pushes when the cylinder rotates. While we were up there it actually started to play, which was exciting and really cool to watch. There was also a great view of the city.

Went back down and walked to the other side of town where we tried to find the happiest street in town. Supposedly there had been some suicides there (which doesn’t make any sense because it’s such a beautiful place), so they put up a couple signs telling people to have a good day and smile. We only saw one, and I forgot to get a picture. Walked a little past that and found some really cool windmills. Thats when I realized I had no idea what the girl’s name was. It was Celine. Anyhow, the windmills were cool.

We went back to the plaza with the Belfry because our map talked a bit about two competing stands at the foot of the Belfry. These stands sold amazing “fritkok”, or fries. Since there were two of us, we decided to buy one from each and try them to test what was better. We sat down in the square, one fries with ketchup (so touristy american) and one with special sauce (A mix of mayonais, ketchup and mustard). Both fries were absolutely amazing. We couldn’t really decide at first, but eventually I decided I liked mine better. Celine of course thought hers was better. Mine was crispier (though she didn’t think so). Either way, we ate a lot of dust since all this grit blew into the fries while we were eating them.

We then went back to the hostel to chill some more. I took a shower and Celine read Angels and Demons. Eventually happy hour came around and we went down to enjoy beers for 1 euro each. We met up with some others and all ordered two beers each. We got to the table, and while I was sitting down my knee bumped the table and EVERYTHING shook. Each person managed to quickly grab both of their beers except for me, who could only grab one while the other tipped over and poured itself all out into the ash tray and a bit onto the table. So that was quite an amazing party foul and we then had an ash tray full of beer.

Despite that, we had a pretty good time. Played a drinking game called “Fuck You” where it was something with cards and a bit like the card game Asshole. It was also a good way to learn people’s names. After drinking a lot, we went out into the night. Some went to bed, but the rest of us went with the bartender to this other bar across town. It was still open, but when I got there I didn’t really find much enjoyment, and talked in italian with some spanish people for a bit before heading back. I was really tired.

Day 18 – Brugge

We got up and went to the Chocolate Museum with Celine, Alex and Daryl. Alex and Daryl were kind of acting like asses in the museum, but it was interesting. We saw this demonstration on how they make chocolates filled with caramel centers. Then they gave them to us and they tasted absolutely amazing. We walked around the exhibit, up several floors with the various information about the chocolate world. I was kind of hoping for more of a Willy Wonka type experience, but oh well.

We went back to the central plaza where there happened to be a great market with all sorts of meat and cheese and vegetables and fruits. I got a nectarine and some sort of meat/spring roll patty. Good but could have been hotter. We went back to the hostel and chilled there while Alex and Daryl ate their food and Celine finished Angels and Demons. Then Alex and Daryl left for their train to somewhere, and Celine’s sister came some time after. Celine and I wanted to go on this pub tour, so we all went to that area and got some beers to drink. Her sister was pretty cool, and those two had split up earlier in their trip. Lots of interesting stories.

Her sister left and we went on the tour. The guide had a very wry sense of humor and it was quite hilarious. Pretty standard beer tour otherwise, with a short view of the city. It was nice. We got our free beers at the end, and met with some other people traveling. Some people near us left their table without even drinking all of their beers, one of which was completely untouched, so we decided to take it for ourselves.

On the way back we got some spaghetti and other materials for dinner, which we were making with this other guy from California. Got back to the hostel, which had a pretty good kitchen, and started making a huge spaghetti dinner. We needed butter so I went on a long trip to get some. On the way back I saw a store right nearby the hostel I could have gone to, but whatever. We made some buttered white asparagus, spaghetti with a sauce made with all sorts of vegetables, and bread (dipped into the leftover butter in the asparagus pan). It was a feast. So amazing. We hung out for a while, and the other people from the pub joined us, and another guy from Scotland, and suddenly it was happy hour again, and we all drank some more.

After the hostel bar closed we went out to try to find another bar. We were trying to get to a jazz club, but they had just closed when we got there. We went to the other hostel and had a few drinks there. Chilled a lot. Then we came back and chilled at our hostel again, and then eventually retired.