European Vacation (Part Drie)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Welcome back for more vacation recaps.  Drie is Dutch for Three.  Don't forget to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our European Highlights.

Day 5

Gravensteen Castle
We had a reservation in Bruges for the night of Day 5, and had planned to spend the day there when MDB suggested we go to Ghent as well on our way.  Since she has a special fondness of Ghent, I suggested she come with us to show us around then she could go back to Brussels when we moved on to Brugge.  For most of the day we visited the castle, Gravensteen!  It's a castle that has been around since the middle ages.  In addition to touring the castle's rooms, there is a torture exhibit - see AG with the Guillotine below.

View from the top

More from the top

After the castle we walked around more, had another amazing lunch and stopped in to some shops. At the end of the afternoon MDB parted ways back to Brussels and we caught the train to Bruges.  
Canal in Bruges
 Once in Bruges we walked a mile from the train to our hotel through the beautiful streets.  Bruges is an amazing city, and as one of the most intact medieval cities brings you back hundreds of years in the past.  We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Navarra which was beautiful and had a cool pool in the basement.  We had yet another great dinner at a Greek restaurant called The Olive Tree and walked around the quiet city at night.  Since it is often a day trip for tourists, it was very peaceful at night.
Hotel Pool

The Belfry
Bruges at Night
Bruges at Night

Day 6

Same spot as above during the day
This day was all about Bruges!  First up was a canal tour (you can see some of the canals in the pictures).  Then, we went all the way up to the top of the Belfry. The tall circular tower you see in most pictures here.  It is 366 steps to the top on a narrow staircase, and the only way down is the same way you go up! Our final attraction of the day was the Frites Museum.  For those of you who don't know, the "French Fry" was actually invented in Belgium and Belgians love their Frites!  You can see from the picture below, AG and I actually became Frites.  The museum was touristy, but fun and gave a pretty interesting history of potatoes and of course Frites at the end.

View from Belfry

Too many Frites
After a beautiful day in Bruges we headed back to Brussels and checked into our hotel near the Grand Place and did a little shopping. Back at MDB's apartment, she cooked us and her roommate an amazing meal of Spaghetti Bolognese; one of my favorite meals from when I lived with her and her family.

Only 1 more post of recaps to go - so Shariously stay tuned...


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