I always thought that Italy represented that perfect Yael double whammy in all of Europe: pasta and red wine. But that was before I went to Belgium.
BEER AND CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE AND BEER. BEER. CHOCOLATE. BEER. CHOCOLATE. BEER. BEER. BEER.
And waffles. And frites.
And can you conjure up a better combo than potatoes, cream, bacon and cheese? Before and After.
And fine, mussels. If you’re into that.
We spent 3 days in Bruges, Belgium between xmas and NYE. It’s a little city known, among other things, for an explosion of charm around Christmas so it was a great time to visit. Bruges is a canal-based city, like Amsterdam, and so everywhere you walk is likely to be picturesque. It’s also known for having held on to much of its medieval architecture. And where not authentic, pains have been taken to replicate the medieval look. And as a bonus, you can keep an eye out for settings from the eponymous film.
And look at this sweets shop, will you!
One of the many great things about Europe is the ubiquity of Nutella. And a street-side crepe maker if you’re lucky.
It was a perfect little trip. Even despite our growing suspicion that the Belgian people might hate Americans. Or just us. Here is but just a sampling… an actual conversation between Bryan and an older Belgian (gentle?)man who wanted the same table at a restaurant:
(Bryan waits for table to clear and asks server if we can sit there. Server confirms yes. Despite this, when table is cleared a man shoves ahead of Bryan.)
Bryan: Excuse me sir, we are waiting for this table.
Man (he’s Belgian, remember): No.
Bryan: That’s fine if you sit here but you’ll have to eat alongside my family.
Man: What, are you American?
Bryan: Yeah but I live in London now. What are you, Belgian?
Man: Americans. Very aggressive. Just like Iraq.
Bryan: Well we may be aggressive but we’re still the number one country on earth.
(Man leaves table in a huff and 10 minutes later when I whip out my b–b to nurse Jonah, he leaves restaurant in a huff.)
Me: Why didn’t you just tell him you were Canadian?
But this table was worth the international conflagration.
Okay, they like us a little.
But great trip. For reals.