Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We loved Brugge the minute we arrived. It is so pretty and so clean.  And if the beautiful mix of Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic architecture isn't enough, Brugge is surrounded by canals that weave through the city making it even more picturesque.

But first, the hotel.  Hotel Heritage was the perfect place to spend four nights.  Everything about this hotel is pretty and we loved it. So, bear with me as I show you around (I was a little camera-happy).

Hotel Heritage Lobby

The lobby was welcoming and comfortable.

Sitting Room

The sitting area was cozy and I would have loved to spend more than 5 minutes in this room. But you know what it's like when you are traveling--you rest when you go to bed at night! 

Breakfast Room

The breakfast room. Through the mirror you get a glimpse of the handpainted ceiling. It was always quiet in this room because Leslie and I were usually the first ones up and at 'em.


Even the hallway outside the elevator had style. I know it's odd to take the above pic but I loved the colors and the trim work.

Our room

And after one not-so-lovely night in Brussels, we were thrilled to walk into our room and find ample space and lots of comforts including a desktop computer for our use (no extra charge).

As is usually the case when you reserve a twin bedded room in Europe, you will find that the beds are set-up like this--but you pull back the covers and two beds appear which can be pushed apart for a bit of space. The bathroom was also great but I'll spare you the details (although the bathroom amenities by Hermes were mighty fine.)

OK, back to the city.  Brugge is an easy walking and biking town (which I love since I don't live in that type of city). We immediately got going with our map to begin navigating the twisting and winding streets usually using various spires and towers as our "you are here" points.  Leslie is a stellar map reader, me--not so much.  If left alone I would resort to leaving breadcrumbs strewn along the paths. If I did that at home, the rotten birds would just eat them up, but the birds in Belgium seemed better behaved.

Water everywhere. I don't know about you, but when I see bodies of water I immediately relax.  My brain knows I'm on vacation since I live in the dry, arid, desert (which actually I love).

One day we rented bikes picking them up at 1:00 in the afternoon and returning them at 9:30 at night.  We road along the outer canal paths that took us by windmills and open parks.  Fortunately, the town wasn't too packed so riding didn't feel as if we were on some high risk adventure dodging pedestrians, cars, and horse-drawn carriages (for real). 

We figured we road a solid five hours. We stopped for lunch, dinner, and a break in-between (see Leslie above).

In the late afternoon, as we rode along the cobble-stoned streets we heard  music--for a minute it seemed as if we were in some magical place with its own theme song.  As we rounded the corner we came upon a dance class. It was if a director said, "Action! Cue the music". 

In the Burg Square, a talented family put on an impromptu mini-concert.  These kids were excellent.  Quite a nice crowd gathered for this free (but we tipped, of course) unannounced music-fest.

Sunset reflecting on the Government Palace.  Part of the above picture is the post office--yep, just like home.

Waterzooi. My oh my.  This was my favorite Belgian food (other than chocolate and waffles, of course).  Gorgeous chunks of fresh fish in a sauce spiced with dill, tomatoes, watercress, and no doubt cream.  This was served at den Gouden Karpel Restaurant which is famous for its fresh fish. I wish I had had the sense to ask for the recipe because it was the best fish stew I've ever eaten.  Waterzooi (fish stew) is a famous Belgian dish and very popular with the locals. And its such a pretty dish, no?

Belgian waffles covered in strawberries and fresh cream--basic Belgian street food. Don't you love street food? 

I liked best with powdered sugar. The sugar enhanced the caramelized, crisp edges.

Heaven might also be known as Dumon Chocolatier.  Cute Mrs. Dumon pictured above. We heroically tested all sorts of chocolates and determined we liked Dumon's the best.

Plus, I loved Mrs. Dumon's darling shop. We stopped by so often that she actually waved to us from the window (slightly embarassing).

My new Belgian boyfriend, didn't get his name.  He hopped in the picture since it was taking some time for Leslie to get the shot given the number of passers-by. Glad we weren't on bikes that day--it was very crowded.  But even with the crowds I loved this city.

Next up: Flanders Fields


  1. Oh so lovely, and that Belgium boyfriend looks quite cute! Great post, thanks for letting us in on the fun.

  2. What a beautiful place. Who knew? Belgium wasn't on my list of want to see someday, but I think Brugge was "lovely". I so wanted to be on that bike ride with you. That is my idea of seeing the countryside. Thanks for sharing your trip.

  3. Jill: Sadly, I left him behind. But it was fun while it lasted.

    Anita: If you had been on the bike ride you would have lead us all the way to the North Sea! Which actually would have been great.

  4. AWWW! Brugge was amazing and I would love to get back there someday! Thanks for letting relive the stay there.

  5. Wow!! What an amazing place. I have never had an itch to see Europe but when I read your blog I get the itch.

  6. We were in Brugge in October. I wish I had known about Waterzooi when we were there. It looks really deliciouis.

  7. In your photo which one is Mrs. Dumon? blond or brunette. I want to be sure who to address this saturday.


  8. Mrs. Dumon is on the right. Have a super time!