The temperature Sunday seemed to stick to the mid-40s (7 C) but a brisk breeze, perhaps blowing in from the North Sea, made it feel considerably colder. Bundled in layers, we made the best of this trip’s last day of sightseeing.
Brugge is known for its well-preserved medieval center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also one of the world’s first tourism attractions, as wealthy British and French visitors flocked here in the 19th century. There is a lot to admire in these streets, and we think we got a flavor of it.
Brugge’s canals made it known (among other cities) as the Venice of the North.
The architecture certainly appears Dutch.
We discovered the restaurant that Kathy’s brothers enjoyed on a trip in the early 1980s and made lunch reservations.
We bought some chocolates for Brian’s Dutch stepmother.
Soon enough, it was time for lunch at Poules Moules. The proprietor gave us a nice table at the window and we had to make some decisions.
With sharing in mind, Kathy chose tomato soup and Brian shrimp croquettes to start.
Kathy chose a traditional Flemish beef stew (Carbonnade à la Flamande).
It was hearty and delicious, but had a touch of sweetness we found unnecessary. A quick search of recipes revealed the inclusion of dark Belgian beer and sometimes brown sugar. Our theory is that the Belgian sweet tooth extends into meat dishes.
Brian chose mussels. That’s a large pot!
The top of the pot is placed upside down on the table, and that’s where you deposit your shells. Every so often it’s emptied and returned- very practical.
With the main dishes came a huge helping of Frites.
We were invited to ask for refills, but that was quite unnecessary. In fact, as delicious as it all was, we couldn’t quite finish, and tried not to feel guilty. We couldn’t quite finish the ice cream either, despite knowing there’s a separate dessert compartment in the stomach.
Well fed and content, we retreated to the Crowne Plaza to relax and to prepare for Monday’s train trip to the Frankfurt Airport.