We checked out of our teeny-tiny hotel room, and caught a taxi to the train station.
The Antwerp Central Train station is really pretty:
An interesting statue on top of a building right next to the station:
The shower room--the WC is in a small separate room off this room:
The view from our window--right out to St. Salvatore Cathedral:
View down the street:
And the view up the street. The hotel in this picture is the same one I've stayed in twice before--once with David and once with Mom and Dad.
We walked across a bridge over a canal:
The "main attraction" in the square is The Belfry, built in 1240. The octagonal upper tier was added in the mid 1400's. Every hour the bells play a tune. One can climb the tower--all 366 steps. We passed it up this trip!
Just look at all these different beers--most of them Belgian. These are just two of the walls of beer!
We did buy a couple of locally brewed beers, one of them brewed at a nearby monastery. It is sold in very limited quantities--by reservation only. It is supposedly "the best beer in the world" We bought a bottle to try--just one--it was 13 Euros!! Yikes! We're saving it for a special occasion--like for a day when nothing goes wrong……….
We were ready for some lunch, and we knew that we didn't want to eat right in Market Square--way too touristy. We walked a few blocks off the square and down a side street, and came to a nice looking pub. I'd remembered reading some great reviews about their beer list and their food. A lucky find, and we had a really good lunch.
The beer selection was amazing--they plopped a 3" thick book on our table--and we had pages and pages of beers to choose from. Like 2 kids in a candy store we were!
Rabbit cooked in a cherry beer sauce. It was delicious, tender and we could really taste the beer.
David's usual choice--Salad with warm goat cheese. This was was dressed in a raspberry beer vinaigrette--delicious!
After our delicious lunch, we decide to just wander the pretty streets and canals of Bruges--it's such a beautiful town.
We left the pub and walked down the sidewalk, and…………….
Before I knew it a man on the sidewalk suddenly backed up right into me, knocking me off the sidewalk. My foot landed in the gutter, I twisted my ankle and stumbled into the street, where I landed (hard) on my already bad knees!
Well, crap! David was in a panic, he and the nice man rushed into the street to help me up, all the while apologizing. The man felt really bad, I told him I was fine--as I gingerly limped away. Am I fine? Well--I'm a little stiff and sore, both knees are a little worse for wear, and my left ankle only hurts when I walk…….But other than that, I'm fine. It could have been worse--at least there was no traffic……..
I'm pretty stubborn and tough--so we just kept going. Actually, I was afraid if I sat down I'd "seize up"! We wandered (limped) around for another couple of hours, just enjoying the interesting architecture--it's beautiful at every turn.
Scenes from around Bruges:
We just might have popped into a couple of chocolate shops--there's several on each block:
Finally I decided I needed to rest my sore knees and swollen ankle, so we made our way back to our BnB, where we relaxed for a couple of hours before heading out to dinner.
We'd been looking at menus as we wandered around town today, but we decided to stick close to home--less walking. We walked around the corner and down a couple of blocks to a row of cafes on a small square. We picked one that was busy AND had mussels on the menu. We'd first had mussels right here in one of these restaurants during our first trip to Bruges about 6 years ago. It's now one of our favorite meals. We each ordered a pot of mussels in white wine--our usual favorite.
Here's David--really looking forward to his pot of steamed mussels.
Yup--they were awful! Truly--the worst mussels we've ever had. We just laughed……….
We ate a few of our mussels (but all of our fries--we were hungry!) paid our tab (ouch!) and left. We thought we'd enjoy an evening stroll, find a nice cafe and have a glass of wine and desert. We walked several blocks--but didn't find anything open. We found ourselves back at the big Market Square where there were a few places still serving. The desert menus were not enticing--so we gave up and called it a night!
At this point, I'm not even talking to St. Christopher………… He hasn't listened to a word I've said in at last 3 weeks!
So, good night from Beautiful Bruges--still one of our favorite places.
Tomorrow in Belgium: We are taking a train to Ghent, where we have an apartment rented for 5 nights.