Monday, January 19, 2009

land of waffles, chocolate, and beer

Bienvenue en Belgique mon amis! I wish that I could say "Welcome to Belgium" in Flemish, the Belgian dialect of Dutch... but I can't :).
Bruges is one of the most quaint places. I have ever visited. Having been protected through economic prosperity from the destruction of war much of what remains can be traced back to the medieval city that it once was.
I only spent one day and night in this historic haven and the highlight was definitely lunch. I had a Scrambled Egg Sandwich. Boring enough, right? Not so. These eggs were as tasty as my dad makes 'em (an amazing comparison) with a complete salad on top and in a toasted French baguette. Oh my gosh, so unbelievably good.

Following an hour of quality shopping, in clothing and chocolate stores alike, my friends and I took a dessert break for the best waffle I have ever ever had. We were pretty satisfied from lunch still so all four us split this light, airy creation with powdered sugar on top. Woah. I don't even know what to say. Maybe this will work... (1) Isn't it interesting how this Belgian treat turned into an American breakfast? and (2) Why didn't I go to Belgium sooner? Needless to say I was very pleased.

We then took a complete group walking tour of the small city with one of the best guides so far. Like I said, this city has a whole lot of history and the gorgeous sights and architecture to prove it. While walking I also tried my first bite of Belgian chocolate. Two thumbs up, my dears, two big thumbs up.

After our learning and exercising bout we stopped for coffee in a small cafe. I ordered a coffee with milk and got it in four parts although I only used three, I don't take sugar :).

That night we decided to go to one of the many happening bars in the area ;) to try some of the local beers. This one, Stille Night, was one of my favorites. I apologize for the blurry picture... the lighting was too bright for a flash but not quite bright enough for a photo without... not to mention that it wasn't my first drink either, lol.
The next morning after a humble breakfast at the hotel we headed to Antwerp for a lecture with one of the university professors. For such a small country, with a great number of delicious foods, there is quite the controversy between the Flemish-speaking Flanders and the French-speaking Waloons. Some want to split the country, it's quite interesting.

With all the brain power and bus riding I worked up an appetite and by lunch time I was famished again. Another delectable sandwich to the rescue!

Tomato, Mozzarella Basil and Pesto
Otherwise known as a fresh masterpiece. Yum, yum, yum. I ate pretty well, huh?! ;) Next up is Amsterdam, followed by Cologne and Bonn, in Germany. And then back to France! Ooh, this just in... a few of my closest friends here just got accepted as interns at the Counsel of Europe. Kudos to them! I'm oh so very proud. Á demain!


  1. 'Welcome in Belgium friends' in Flemish is 'Welkom in België, vrienden'

  2. Annelies: Thank you!!! I want to come back and visit so I can practice my newly acquired phrase :)


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