We just returned from our first venture outside of France. Jonathan and I spent a couple of days in Brugge, Belgium. It was a lot of fun. Brugge is a medieval city and it is so picturesque. It is full of cobblestone streets and chocolate shops! It is called (mostly by the people who live there, I think) the "Venice of the North" because it has canals throughout the city. We arrived there on Monday and stayed in a youth hostel.
On Monday we climbed up into the belfry of Brugge. The view from the top was really beautiful. We were up there when the bells rang and it was so loud.
We also went on a canal boat ride through the city, which was nice, and stared longingly into the dozens of chocolate shops (we did eventually purchase some, of course.) We also got some famous Belgian fries with the most delicious meat sauce at a restaurant named Pickles. It was awesome. That evening, as it drizzled outside, we wandered around the city and bought some real Belgian waffles. They were soooooooo good...........and chocolatey.
On Tuesday we rented bikes and rode them to the Netherlands. Yes, that's right, we rode bikes to the Netherlands. We did stop briefly in a little town named Damme, a quaint little village with a large and ominous cathedral. With an extremely bizarre head sculpture. It took us about two hours to get from Brugge to Sluis, the town in the Netherlands, but it was worth it. It was a really cute little town and we really enjoyed it. We had some wienerschnitzel and bought a wooden shoe Christmas ornament. We wanted to continue to ride to the North Sea, but we were a little sore and a tempest came upon us soon after we began, so we decided to head back to Brugge.
Once back in Brugge, we spent the afternoon wandering around some more. We went to one of the many, many cathedrals in the city and saw one of the only sculptures by Michaelangelo that is not in Italy. We got our chocolate and some more fries before heading for the train station and home.