Published: August 11th 2009August 11th 2009
Here we sit at the train station in London, waiting to go to Belgium.
In bed last night after midnight and up this morning at 5:00 a.m. We decided to get a head start on the day as we are only spending one night in Brugge, it's a 3 hour train(s) ride, and we're cheap. The earlier you go, the cheaper the ticket. Leaves us more money to buy Belgium chocolate.
Kim and I were out the door at 6:00 a.m., walked up to the main street, found a taxi and were driven to the train station. Since we were going outside of the United Kingdom, we had to go through security, including passport checks and baggage screening. But we did get our passports stamped!!
Picked up some food at the snack bar (way better choices than we have in the states), one more security check and we went up to the train platform. We had reserved seats in coach; each seat had a little foot rest and a tray just like on the airplanes. Kim slept; I played with my Nintendo.
The trip under the English Channel took approximately 7 minutes on the very swift Eurostar train. Our first stop and change of trains came in Brussels. The train to Brugge
Kim always looks so nice, even waiting for a train.
was late; we got confused and took the first train that pulled into our track. Luckily it went to Gent and from there all we had to do was go to another track to get a train to Brugge.
What a beautiful city. The architecture is unbelievable! Old buildings with a definite Flemish flair, cobbled stone roads which are cute but hard to walk on, canals, outdoor eateries, lots of chocolate shops and lace shops. The chocolate is yummy and the lace work is beautiful.
Our hotel, the Hotel Prinsenhof, is small, but very nice. Kim and Rich stayed here a couple of weeks ago. The people couldn't be nicer. Our room is veeerrryyy nice. The bathroom is awesome. I took lots of pics because I think it is the perfect bathroom for a house. It is very clever.
After we checked in, Kim asked the hotel owner where she could purchased some brass lanterns like the ones in the hotel's fireplace. Each lantern holds one medium sized pillar candle and Kim wants two for her fireplace (no fires allowed in any fireplaces in London ... too much pollution).
We found the shop, they had two
On the road to Brugge.
of what Kim wanted, she paid for them, the clerk said he would wrap them for us, and we continued with our Brugge tour. We looked at a lace shop, found things we couldn't live without in a candy store, walked to the canal district and took and a wonderful boat ride. The day was beautiful! Blue skies, puffy white clouds and warm sunlight helped make this a special day.
We meandered back towards the hotel, picked up Kim's lanterns, deposited our new stuff in our room, sat for a minute and then off we went to find some dinner. We decided to do the tourist thing and walked back to the plaza and ate at one of the outdoor restaurants, Da Carre. And we ate. Appetizer. Main course. Dessert. Yummy, yummy. We had to walk around a bit after dinner just to feel not so stuffed!!!
I stayed in the room to blog while Kim went out in the little courtyard to do her Suduko. In a little bit she came back and asked me to join her. She had met a cute British couple she wanted to introduce me to. So I met George (82) and
Lots of carriages mix in with bikes and cars. Pedestrians take care!
Hazel (80). They have been coming to this hotel for the past ten years. And I got to hear their remarkable story. Long story short, they have been married for 10 years. Yes, just 10 years. This is George's first marriage. This is Hazel's second. Hazel's husband died about 11 years ago. Hazel knew George for 40 years; he actually lived next door to Hazel and her previous husband. When Hazel's husband died, after the appropriate mourning period, they moved into together and then got married. They now travel, travel, travel, and have been since the day they got married. They were very cute.
So now I'm back in the room, trying to type as fast as I can so I can get this done, and on and off emailing Lee as he'll be leaving for Germany on Wednesday.
We'll have some more fun tomorrow in Brugge before leaving to go back to London around 2:00 p.m.
We are having fun!!!
There are more photos below