Joel and I recently celebrated 2 years of marriage!
Last year was spent in upstate New York at the world famous Blue Hill at Stone Barn. So for this year, we knew we had to go big again and of course a trip in Europe was the way to go! We chose to visit Brussels and the lovely mediaeval town of Bruges. We had always wanted to visit Bruges so we decided that our actual anniversary would take place there. However, we did want to see the capital of European government – Brussels – before we made our way into the historic part – Bruges.
What was especially nice about our trip is that it took only 2 hours to reach via the Eurostar train. We really want to spend our vacation, on vacation, not traveling so the short ride was a big part of the decision. We arrived in Brussels first and stayed for the day and night. Brussels is actually pretty terrible looking by the train station. it reminded me of my time in Geneva. It is really just not the best way to enter such a transient and politically centered city. That said, we walked about 10 minutes away from the train station into the center of old Brussels and were instantly reminded why we wanted to visit. Old Brussels has a spectacular center square. Albeit, filled with tourists and ‘hen and stag’ parties, it was pretty awe-inspiring.
We stayed at the lovely Amigo Hotel, where we were offered a double upgrade to their suite (wohoo anniversary perks!). The hotel was right off the main square, but far enough away, that we could be near the action and hear it from afar. As it was lunch time, we wondered the streets and found La Roue d’Or, a true Belgiun restaurant. We dined on hazelnut encrusted camembert and frites and delved into our first (of many) Belgian beers of the trip. La Roue d’Or was a bit pricey however, the interior Magritte inspired murals were were the price alone.
After lunch, we wondered the streets stopping chocolate (but of course) at Galler and plotting our beer steps for later. But first, a nerdy trip to the Belgium Comic Strip Center. All I can say about that place is that if you like Tin Tin, you’re in the right place. Many more beer stops were next – Au Bon Vieux Temps for a Trappist Westvleteren 12, better known as the “best beer in the world” (I can attest to being one of the best beers I’ve ever had), Delirium Cafe for a Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel by Brasserie d’Achouffe. We of course made some time for moules frites as well.
So far so good in Belgium! Part two is next…