Goodbye Amsterdam, Hello Bruges

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Ilise & Drew by the entrance tower to Bruges
Ilise & Drew by the entrance tower to Bruges

Yesterday morning we left Amsterdam for breakfast with the White family in The Hauge. We were introduced to the Whites by a friend in Carlsbad and we had a wonderful brunch with them. Melissa, James and Ashland were just the nicest people. They made an awesome breakfast and we really enjoyed our conversation. One of the coolest things we noticed when we arrived was a picture mural that they had hanging on their wall. It was different size pictures joined together by magnets into a huge handing mural without frames. James made it himself with blocks of wood and he is building a prototype in plastic to actually start selling them in kits. I believe it could do really well if it can be made cost effectively and priced well. James said he might throw it up on Kickstarter if he can get the product made cost effectively. We’ll keep an eye on that one.

Main square bell tower. Really beautiful.
Main square bell tower. Really beautiful.

Once we left The Hague we headed for Bruges. We got stuck in some traffic and then took a detour to find a bathroom that took us a good 45 minutes to find our way back on the highway. All tolled, with the drive to The Hague, we were in the car for well over 5 hours. We arrived in Bruges last night, had dinner at a local restaurant and watched a Good Will Hunting as a family. The house we are staying in is very interesting. It’s no more than 15-20 feet wide and really long and skinny. There is a very long ground floor with two floors above with bedrooms. It was recently renovated by the owner, but it was not very well thought out in terms of the layout. It is perfectly comfortable for 3 nights and then we will be off to our last stop in Paris.

Parliament building in Bruges
Parliament building in Bruges

We took a walking tour today through Bruges and got to see much of this very beautiful city. Of all the cities we have visited, this ranks right near the top in beauty, along with Florence and Budapest. The age of the buidlings, the architecture and so much more make it very striking. The number of bell towers and churches is a bit much for such a small city, but they are all very beautiful. The main square in the city has a bell tower with 48 bells, 47 of which are still working and they go off every 30 minutes. It’s like getting a free concert every 30 minutes.

Sculpture in front of the Cathedral in Bruges
Sculpture in front of the Cathedral in Bruges

After the tour we got a very nice dinner and then found our way to a little truck in the main square to get some waffles that our guide said we “had to get.” John made these waffles with caramel on the bottom and powdered sugar on top. Everyone thought that they were very delicious, but Drew wished she had just gotten a plain waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. Maybe tomorrow! All in all another really nice day, but again, we end the day very tired. All the walking and touring is starting to take a real toll on Ilise’s feet and all of us are ready for some rest when we return. I’m not sure I will have much downtime to rest, but I will find that next gear when I get back to San Diego. Looking forward to our last week of travel and finding our way back to NY one week from today.

To a life well lived!


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