Tuesday, June 29 – Wednesday, June 30
The trip was marvelously uneventful. Both legs of the flight departed on time and arrived early, which defied the recent history for this route. Because we didn’t have a lot of confidence in when we might arrive at CDG, we didn’t make reservations for the train to Brugge. It was probably just as well we didn’t because the line for the ticket agents was gi-normous and many of the folks in front of us seemed to have all sorts of transportation issues. After an hour or so, we did get our tickets–albeit for a couple of hundred extra Euros due to lack of available Eurail Pass seats–and by 10:00 CEDT we we’re aboard the TGV and headed to Brugge via Lille and Brussels.
Our hotel in Brugge was right across from the clock tower featured in the extra-violent movie In Bruges(shoot first, sightsee later). We arrived there around 13:00, but our room wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours, so we stashed our luggage and headed out for a walk around town. Brugge is a Euro tourist Mecca and I do believe at least 50 percent of the continent is on holiday and most of them came here. Even on a Wednesday afternoon, the place was packed. After some chocolate window shopping, a little lunch and a good Belgian bier, it was check-in time.
Our normal rule is that regardless of how swacked we are, it’s best to stay up until local ni-night time. That rule was jettisoned passing through the door to our room. After a quick shower to wash away 18+ hours of transit grime, the lure of a refresher nap called. Ahhh.
A couple of hours of zzz’s and it was time to rejoin the tourists in the town. Our room at Martin’s Brugge included “special” complimentary cocktails, four to choose from, each identified by a color. Laurel had a Yellow (lime, cane sugar, Mandarine Napoleon and vodka) and I had a Green (pineapple, Pisang, Safari and cognac). After a bit more walking, dinner at an outside table that included the requisite frites, and another pass by the central square, it was pushing 23:00 and once again, time for bed.
To take advantage of an airfare deal, we left a day earlier than we had originally intended, so Brugge was a late addition to our plans. On a previous trip, we’d driven through the town, thought it looked like a fun place to explore, but it was fully booked up, so promised to return. Return we did and it proved to be a great start to our Euro holiday.