Sunday, October 26, 2008

In Bruges

While my parents were in town visiting, we took a weekend trip to Bruges, Belgium. Perhaps many of you have not heard of Bruges...or maybe some of you have seen the Academy Award-nominated movie In Bruges. If you haven't seen the movie, I strongly recommend it -- it's a dark comedy that had me in stitches at times.

So having seen the movie, we decided to take a visit because, according to the movie, Bruges is a "f---ing fairy tale." With that sort of endorsement, how could we not go?

Unfortunately, we didn't have the best weather. It was cold and rainy nearly the entire weekend. However, it is a charming historic city which is probably why it's a UNESCO World Heritage City. One of the highlights was The Chocolate Museum. Because of the weather, the museum was rather crowded. At one point when there was quite a back up in the flow through the museum, Carter said rather loudly and with such disdain, "These French people are getting in my way!" It was a struggle to hold back the laughter and later Ben and I were wondering where he learned this dislike of the French. Perhaps this is normal playground conversation here in Germany.

Another hit was the abundance of chocolate shops. After dealing with the cold and rain, we decided to take a break in a chocolate shop for some cocoa. We were escorted to a living room type space over the store and we were served the largest mugs of steamed milk I've ever seen. They the provided you the chocolate shavings/chips to stir into the milk. It was the best hot chocolate I've ever had. The cup size was rather ridiculous though. As you can see in the picture, you need to hold it with two hands.

One of the more beautiful and quieter spots in the city is the Beguinage. It is is a group of white houses around a little garden covered with large poplar trees. This is now a monastery for the Benedictine Sisters. And, yes, the trees are all growing at the same angle.

We didn't take the time to climb the steps of the famous belfry to see the view of the historical town square. But we did take a nice horse drawn carriage ride through the city...probably Carter's favorite part of the trip. He was really fond of our horse, Lady. Every horse he saw after that he had to ask us if it was Lady.

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