Bonjour Sweet Friends!
What a wonderful trip to launch my European travels! Brugge/Bruges was perfect in every way. Small enough to see everything and actually learn my way around, charming in its medieval splendor, and close enough that we could be back home in a few hours.
Before leaving Hawaii, many people asked me what I planned to eat in the land of beer, butter and bratwurst! Well, it’s been surprisingly easy to find vegan-friendly restaurants. We found three great places in Bruges, Reliva, a slightly gourmand vegan friendly restaurant with vegan lasagna and a cauliflower, chickpea curry; Soup, a soup/sandwich/bread kitchen with fresh juice; and food3, an organic, sustainable, vegan-friendly place with wonderful salads. We also visited several coffee houses and cafes around town and were never disappointed. I even found an organic body shop for face cleaning products and creams. Bonus!
Our last day in Bruges, we went for a long walk on the outskirts of the city proper to see the three windmills along the canal. While the windmills were not overly impressive, getting out the city into the burbs was wonderful. No ranch style homes here!! Even the burbs have gorgeous gothic style homes and imposing churches. It was nice to be out of the tourist section and on our own. Weekends can obviously get crazy busy with tourists and Friday afternoon was no exception. Tons of high school students ran through the streets with their notebooks, apparently on some kind of field/research trip, with the manners of a pack of goats. So the idea of getting out of the city proper was most appealing.
Our return trip home was slightly delayed due to some sort of track trauma. No idea what caused our train, and many others, to be 40 minutes late, but it ensured that we missed our connection in Brussels. But, once we arrived in Brussels, we went to the information desk, told them our story, and the gentleman handed us two pieces of paper and directed us to what I think was some sort of customer service desk. We were issued a new ticket on a different train line (Thalys – the French express train) and we were back on track. We arrived an hour later that planned but we had no place to be but home, so no worries.
Other than the train being delayed it was a perfect trip! The weekend has been wonderful, sunny with temps in the 70’s!!! Yesterday, I practiced roller blading along the river. Cobblestones can slow you down! 🙂 as can all the people walking in groups. As I might have guessed, I have a stopping problem. Go figure. Right now, skating into the rail or grabbing a pole seems to work ok, but eventually I’m going to have to learn to stop on my own. Story of my life!!
Today is Sunday and everything is closed. Great day to practice stopping and prepare for my trip to Paris this upcoming weekend!!! Meeting Rickey Lee in Paris for a few days! WOOHOO!!!!
Have a beautiful day!