As the Icelandic ash clouds prevented us from going home, it gave us an extra weekend in Europe. We decided to use this time to visit Bruges, which is about a 4 hour drive from London.
Bruges is in the Flemish region of Belgium, in the northern part of the country. The city centre which was established in the 12th century, is a world heritage site of UNESCO due to the historical buildings and culture. It is also the chocolate capital of the world. So we packed our overnight bags, got the European Union stickers on the car and the hi-vis fluro jacket ready (you need to have this in your car) and made our way there. To cross the border, we caught the Eurostar which was a bit like a cattle train but for cars. As we passed immigration in the car, we drove into a carriage with teeny windows.
After a 35 minute ride, we came out across the French border, and my brother quickly switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right. We drove through some pretty French countryside before entering Belgium.
After checking into our little B&B that was just off the old city centre, we set out exploring. We started by having some famous frites, which was double fried and served with some delicious onion-y mayonnaise, tomato sauce and onions.
We wandered the cobbled streets and took in the history and beauty of the area. We also visited some of the beautiful churches, including the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
And of course, enjoyed some hot chocolate and waffles with my all time favourite biscuit – speculoos!!!
I stopped by a supermarket and bought about 3 bulk packs of Lotus brand speculoos biscuits to bring home – I’m very fond of these spice biscuits.
Since we were in Bruges, we wandered around the many chocolatier shops and sampled what was on offer. One of the most well known, which is my favourite, is Dumon Chocolatier. We bought up big time in here, and was served by Madame Dumon herself. You can see more pictures here.