Friday, October 9, 2020 | Written by Kaela
This weekend, we decided to travel to two countries: Luxembourg and Belgium. The bad weather and long day before lowered my spirits slightly so after our day trip to Luxembourg (from my last post), a part of me wanted to skip out on journeying to Belgium. After visiting Brugge, walking on its cobbled streets, looking over the meandering canals, and eating lots of sweets, I will say that I wish I had much more than just twenty four hours.
On our way to Markt (the main market square in Brugge), we stopped at Burg Square to admire the grand gothic buildings including the Basilica of the Holy Blood. After gawking at the gorgeous square, only one thing was on our minds, you guessed it, food. Naturally when visiting Belgium, the first delicacy that popped into our minds was the one and only Belgium waffle. We visited Chez Albert, a popular spot for a quick and delicious waffle. The crispy waffle covered in chocolate and strawberries I ate made the long journey worthwhile and made the previously sour conditions nothing but sweet. As we walked further down, we stopped by a beautiful Christmas shop: Käthe Wohlfahrt. I am a Christmas lover and spent more time than reasonable perusing the aisles of ornaments, handmade clocks, snow globes, nutcrackers, and much more.
According to my travel group, I spent “too much time” in Markt, but how could I not? I am obsessed with the bustling plaza: historic buildings, horse-drawn carriages, and plenty of eateries. After soaking in all the Markt had to offer, we headed towards one of many chocolate shops: The Chocolate Line. I have a dangerous sweet tooth; I look for desserts after every meal, in between meals, hungry or not, day and night. This chocolate shop was everything from my dreams. I ended up deciding to restrain myself and only purchased some gifts for family and friends and dark chocolate almond bark for myself.
For dinner, we stopped at House of Waffles to get a more savory waffle. Mine had an egg, chicken, lettuce, tomato, and barbecue sauce all placed between two perfectly made waffles. We ended up meeting the owner of the store, who talked with us about school and the store. He kindly gave us tea. It was just what we needed after spending the day in the cold.
We walked around town for a little bit before heading to our hostel to rest and meet other weary and enthusiastic travelers.
On Sundays in Europe, many restaurants and stores have reduced hours or are completely closed. Add the current pandemic in the mix, and it makes an unpleasant pair for travelers; so many places have shortened hours. We spent some time in Käthe Wohlfahrt yet again and then headed to Chez Vincent. Here, we kicked off our last day with a culinary home run: pulled chicken fries! The weather was finally on our side; the only time it rained was while we were enjoying our warm frites indoors.
After being drawn in by a “family owned sign”, we made a pit stop in a local chocolate shop, Verheecke. The chocolates at the Chocolate Line cost around €4 for 3 so there is, of course, no sampling. I assumed it was the same for other shops, but while I was trying to choose the owner of the shop kindly insisted I sample some chocolate. Even after I purchased a box of chocolates, she gave us cuberdons telling us, “It is a popular candy here, so you have to try it.” She wanted to make sure we did not feel pressured into buying something from her shop. After all of our group made our purchases she gave us a couple more free chocolates. Her genuine desire for us to have a positive experience brightened my whole weekend (and the free chocolates were a definite bonus).
As a dessert lover, I of course had to convince the group to make one more food stop: Oyya. A perfect place to get a belgium waffle with chocolate. After scrutinizing over the plethora of delicious and unique flavors including ferrero rocher, kinder, and speculoos, I chose to top my waffle with kinder ice cream. We spent the next hour indulging in decadence and then headed to the train station. It was a sweet way to end the weekend.