Picture of canal 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.

Picture of canal2 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.

Picture of oldbridge 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.

Picture of northsea 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 tad chilly.

Picture of nordzee 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.

Picture of lilacs 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.

Picture of tx_groening


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