Happy Wednesday! Sorry for the delay between Trip Reports, but these posts are a doozy to put together! Let's wrap them up, shall we?
We solemnly said goodbye to Bruges and headed back East. Ghent is the largest city in the Flemish Region of Belgium, and half-way between Bruges and Brussels. We decided to spend an afternoon in the University town (packed with young students), so we hopped off the train and stored our luggage in the station lockers.
Ghent has a little bit of the flavor of Bruges, in that the architecture and canals are similar (only in the city center), but is so much larger and louder. Much of the city was under construction, and the streets were buzzing with people, buses and trams.
We spent a few hours strolling the loop around the city's center, and had a great Moroccan lunch.
Then it was back on the train for the 45-minute ride to Brussels. And back to a French-speaking population! (Flemish, the most unique language I've ever heard, is the main language in Bruges and Ghent.)
Brussels is the bustling capital of Belgium, and the European Union. Thanks to it's large population of weekday business travelers, we were able to score a fabulous hotel at a weekend steal!
Lavender grasscloth wallpaper, lavish crystal chandelier, double french doors leading to balcony views of downtown....Mr. Sugarplum and I felt a bit like the Clampetts...but loved every second of it! (We are typically budget travelers in Europe, so this kind of accommodation is not typical for us!)
We spent our days in Brussels enjoying the Metropole Hotel, strolling the busy streets and hitting up a few of the many shops.
As with most large cities, they pay extra attention to maintaining the parks, which were a nice quiet escape. There are also tons of waffle counters...where they sold a doughier version of the waffles we devoured in Bruges.
And more fritteries.
We picked up a large sampling of cookies, or biscuits if you're fancy, from this beautiful shop that services most of the city with their famous recipes. I can't say any made it home.
True to my DIY roots, stumbling across a Farrow & Ball retail store was a Brussels highlight! I am now the excited owner of their swatch booklet ...and 3 sample pots of potential colors for our house! But my gosh they are proud of their paint!!! The teeny-tiny-two-inch sample pots of paint are 7euro each! I'll do the math for you...almost $11 each! I hope the colors work and I'll get my Home Depot color-match on!
The Grand Place is the most memorable landmark in Brussels. The breathtaking square dates back to the 10th Century, and was recently named the most beautiful square in Europe. It didn't disappoint at night either!
Finally, with ill-fitting clothes and bloated bodies, it was time for our final waffle in the famed Metropole Cafe.
And as much fun as we had, and as kind and accommodating as the Europeans were...we were thrilled to be back in the States...back to our kids...and back in our own bed!
Hopefully these Trip Reports have been useful and inspiring for you. I've received several emails and comments with questions regarding the trip and how we travel (namely the multi-colored skirt I wore in the Paris post!). I'm putting together a Q&A post to address everything, so feel free to comment here or email me with anything you want to know! You know I'll keep it real.
Thank you for indulging me and reading these posts... I'm so sick of myself I can hardly stand it, so I can only imagine how you feel! Let's shift this blog back to design, shall we? How about I finish Babygirl's Room Once.And.For.All!!!???