More Brugge!

After lunch, I set off to find Brugge's windmills.  It was the furthest distance I walked all day...maybe 15 minutes from the city center?
The windmills are on little hills along the river.  I happened to pass the Kruispoort Gate as well.  The windmills I walked to were all to the left of the gate.  They were a bit simpler that the ones we saw in Kinderdijk, but still fun to explore.  
Coming back into town, I weaved through some of Brugge's many cobblestone streets.  Many of the ones I passed had alms houses on either side.  They are so quaint and picturesque, all with colorful flowers outside of their windows.
All that walking in the sun had made me thirsty, so it was time for some Belgian beer!  I decided to go back to a shop/bar I had seen earlier in the day called 2Be.  It just so happens to be home of the beer wall!  
There is a neat shop that takes up most of the building.  It has lots of interesting things that are traditionally Belgian.  There are rooms devoted to popular culture, chocolate, spirits, cheese (I skipped that one), and of course beer.  
If you walk straight back past the beer wall, you will find the bar.  You can order loads of different Belgian beers.  They have different tasting flights, or you can just get a pint (or half) of any one on tap.  I ordered myself a half pint and was lucky enough to find a seat outside on one of the canals.  To be honest, I probably would have had another and stayed longer, but I knew I would lose my table as soon as I got up.  That's just one of the woes of solo travel!
I loved the mug so much, I went back into the shop and got myself one (no sneaking these out of the bar - they all had security tags on them.  Not that I would do that anyways!).  Because not only did they sell every beer you can imagine, but also the proper vessel to drink it from!

I spent the rest of the afternoon window shopping.  I also couldn't possibly leave Belgium without some Belgian chocolate!
I saw this ice cream shop and knew we would be going in if my niece, Merrigan was with me!
It's kaiten chocolate - chocolate conveyor belt!
So many quirky things around the city!
Later that evening, I joined the queue outside of one of the many waffle shops to see what the fuss was all about.  I like waffles, but the idea of having chocolate or ice cream on one, or eating it as a dessert was pretty foreign to me.  Waffles are a breakfast food! (Don't get me started on chicken and waffles...I do not get it.)  I decided to go almost plain and just got whipped cream on mine (mostly because I wanted the little flag for the photo!!).  
It was delicious!  And so different from the waffles I know, and what they call a "Belgian waffle" in the states.  I always thought it referred to the type of iron you cooked it with, but no.  This was a Belgian Liege Waffle.  Rather than being made out of a runny batter, it is made from a leavened dough with pearl sugar.  It gives the waffle a dense, cake like consistency with a crunchy exterior.  (I've ordered myself some pearl sugar and plan on giving the waffles a go at home...I'll let you know how it turns out!)
I was sad to leave Brugge the next morning.  The little city just had so much charm, and I cannot wait to take Bryn back there (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

I do have one last important tip to share before I end my Brugge posts...The entire city center is made of cobble stones.  While it makes it feel quaint and picturesque, it's a bitch to drag a suitcase on!!  

The city center is about a 20 minute walk from the station.  It's a easy, beautiful walk, but do yourself a favor and take the bus if you have luggage.  Pretty much any of them will take you to Burg Square, and the friendly workers in the ticket kiosk can help if you aren't sure.  I took the bus back to the station and it was so much better than dragging the bag.

The following morning I caught the train to Brussels and then back to Amsterdam.  I was only in Amsterdam for the afternoon, and just wandered a bit without my camera, taking in my last few hours in Europe.  I flew home the next morning, and now I am ready to plan my next trip!  

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my travels as much as I've enjoyed reliving them.  Thanks for following along!

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