while we were in holland, we had the option to do a day trip to another country! we were choosing between paris, germany, london, iceland, and belgium. we chose belgium because it was only a short drive away and Belgian chocolates sounded like a good idea :) it turned out to be one of our favorite days of our whole trip! we drove through the (very stinky but beautiful) countryside to visit the old city of bruges. while we were driving around, looking for parking, we were freaking out a little because everything was so amazing! we couldn’t wait to get out to explore :)
we found somewhere to eat first because we were hungry and it was starting to rain, so it was a perfect time to wait it out. we sat on the covered patio of le panier d’or, but the umbrellas kept leaking on us haha! the restaurant was right in the middle of the town square so it was a great view and perfect for people watching. i honestly don’t remember the names of everything we ordered but it was all unique and delicious! reilly got her usual bucket of mussels, me, larry, and jocelyn ordered a set meal that came with a few courses (loved everything it came with), and riley got a sampler of mussels, meatballs, and rabbit!
after eating, we had new energy to explore! we saw michelangelo’s “madonna and child”. it’s the only piece of his that has ever left italy and it now lives in the Church of our lady in bruges! although we couldn’t get very close to it, it was still pretty cool to see in person. the church itself also holds other artifacts and amazing stained glass!
we walked down all of the streets and alleyways that circle around the city square. i couldn’t believe how beautiful this city was! almost every building was photo-worthy which made it difficult not to stop every few steps haha! there were so many chocolate shops, and it was hard to pick which one to buy chocolate at! we loved that most of them gave out samples, but somehow it wasn’t enough chocolate! ;) there was one shop, home sweet home bruges, that was incredible. they had several varieties of chocolate chips on tap and you could mix them how you like to create a rich and tasty hot chocolate concoction! it was the greatest idea ever and it was fun to taste what everyone got! mine was suuuper sweet and riley’s was dark as heck! the girls in there were really sweet and gave us all a couple of pieces of chocolate for free!
there was an area of the city that was so beautiful and romantic! here’s a fun fact: bruges is one of the most well preserved medieval towns in europe! it blows my mind how old europe is! this spot was so pretty along one of the canals outside of the city center. sadly most of the store closed at like 5 or 6, even though it was a weekend! europeans are weird ;) we didn’t do much other than window shopping and walking down the cobblestone streets, but we will be back to do a boat ride through the canals and check out some of the museums! all day long, i wanted to go to one of the tea rooms. they were everywhere and were so cute. so, towards the end of the day, we were looking for one and basically walked in circles trying to find a particular one. once we got there and sat down, we told the waiter that we just wanted tea and desserts…and he kicked us out!! ha! apparently that’s not a thing once dinner is being served. it was so lame! so, we never went to a tea room but our day was still perfect :)