We started the day with a late wake-up call letting the guys sleep in a bit from the jetlag. They all met at 10 to start our day of exploring Bruges after a hearty continental breakfast in the hotel’s dining room.
But our first order of business after breakfast was to gather in the hotel courtyard (actually the hotel pub, but it’s not open on Tuesdays) to let the boys meet, discuss, and vote on where they would like to go next. They really did a nice job of looking at the map and voicing their opinions. Some boys have definite ideas, some have a handful of ideas, and others are happy with anything. In the end they voted to go to Amsterdam next.
So we called the meeting to a close and walked over to the train station to see about train reservations to get us to the Netherlands. Since we’ll be taking local trains and have first-class passes, we were told no reservations were needed and so we’ll leave here tomorrow around 10:30 A.M. (that’s Wednesday but no telling when you’ll see this) for Amsterdam. Even with switching trains we should arrive about 2:30 P.M. While we’ve been having adventures, tomorrow will be our first night without hotel reservations so I’m hoping to report in that we had no problems finding beds. You’ll have to be in suspense until then.
From the train station we took a canal boat tour through Bruges and our guide pointed out lots of historic sites of which you’ll see in some of the photos. The kids enjoyed the leisurely trip and were awestruck at the age of many of the buildings that date back four or five hundred years or more. After all, Bruges is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From here we meandered back to the Market Square taking in various sites along the way. Amazingly we passed the “French Fry Museum.” We didn’t go in, but were indeed amazed they could figure out how to devote a museum to that! Market Square is their favorite hangout. It’s a vibrant open area surrounded by shops, restaurants, museums, and the belfry (which houses those carillons we hear around the clock) and it’s all just a minute from our hotel. We then gave the boys free time to explore this area before having them get back for dinner.
Dinner was in the hotel’s restaurant and we took orders ahead of time to help the kitchen staff. Some boys went out for ice cream afterwards and others headed back to the hotel. A few people caught several minutes of a street performer’s one-man-show.
It was a very good day with perfect weather – mild temperatures, low humidity, sunny skies.
Click to see photos.