After David finished with his morning conference session we went down to a little
streetside stand that we'd seen the day before for lunch. They made turnover-like
things. David had a ham and leek one and Melanie had some sort of
broccoli concoction. They were so good, we had to go back for more.
Then we took a boat tour of Brugge through all the various canals.
This allowed us to take variations on the same pictures you've probably
already seen by now except this time from the vantage point of the water. Some
of the bridges, as you can see here, are fairly low. We were warned
(in English, French and Dutch) to duck when we passed underneath them.
The two bridges in this picture are the oldest in all of Brugge. Both date
from around the 11th century. Most of the houses along these canals
are privately owned and most of those have very small plots of grass along
the canal passing for what you might call a backyard. What is a lot
harder to convey in these pictures is that the canals, like many of the
streets are remarkably quiet. There is so little motor vehicle traffic
(due to the fact that most cars bold enough to venture into the city became
permanently stuck in small alleys years ago) that the only real noise is
the tour guides yelling at their groups in various languages whilst waving
brightly colored pennants. After around 5:00 in the afternoon, these
tour groups disappear and the city becomes even more peaceful.
After David's afternoon session we decided to go for a drive in the countryside
around Brugge. We headed north, needing to go only about 10 miles before
we entered the Netherlands (once again with no customs whatsoever).
We spent a little while there driving towards the North Sea, spotting several
windmills, but only passing through one town, which was appropriately cute
and neat. We came back into Belgium (still no customs) and ended
up in the semi-resort towns of Knokke-Heist. Here we parked and went
for a walk on the beach which was exceedingly wide and rather bleak.
Also, if you couldn't have guessed, we discovered the North Sea to be a
There was also quite a bit of boat traffic visible, mostly in the form of barges
and ferries going to England. While the area we were in was clearly
a resort area (surrounded by rental condos and hotels and such), we were
about the only people on the beach. Probably everyone else already
knew it was rather bleak and chilly. To commemorate the occasion,
(and the fact that we had finally discovered how to put the car in reverse),
we took this picture.
We returned to Brugge where Melanie took this picture of Brugge's central
cathedral and surrounding lilacs. This is probably the prettiest picture we
took in Brugge, but it still doesn't really do it justice. Neither
can we possibly do justice here on this web page to the place we ate dinner
that night. The Grillhuisje just across from our hotel. It
only had about 5 tables, and probably about that many menu items as well.
We ordered the meatspit, which consisted of a small chunk of nearly every
animal you can easily kill and eat, skewered on an iron rod and hung from
a tableside contraption over our plates. It also came with an assortment
of sauces and frites (of course). We can't really express how good
it was here, except maybe to say that it didn't even matter what sort of
meat each piece was, they were just all that good. After dinner we
went back to the hotel to make fun of Dutch game shows and talk about how
good dinner was.