belgium / travel / wanderlust

Yes, all Belgian towns smell like chocolate | Our time in Belgium

If you’re on a diet, Belgium is not the holiday destination for you (yes the whole country).  At every turn you will find yourself confronted by a chocolaterie, and if not, there will be a patisserie selling equally as eye-catching and delicious smelling goodies.  The husbo and I found ourselves in Brussels, staring in awe of the delicious treats in front of us (luckily we are on a budget that does not allow mass purchase of foodstuffs).

We spent two days exploring Brussels, and enjoying the beautiful narrow streets before heading to Bruges.  Due to funding restrictions we decided that we would spend a week camping in the small, but extremely touristy area.  We found an excellent camp site a 25 minute walk from town and set ourselves up.  While we have tried to minimise the collection of stuff, we have gathered a few extra items, which makes our two man tent appear much smaller (not sure how that is possible) than when we first started camping.  I like to liken the scene of us getting ready and putting everything into it to watching 15 clowns get into a mini.

In Bruges we explored the delightfully beautiful little laneways, strolled across the canals and enjoyed a coffee or two at what became our local coffee shop.  We devoured our singular chocolate sample at the Chocolate museum and left the Chip museum feeling a bit ripped off when we were told that they couldn’t serve us our discounted chips due to a huge group of school children getting in before us.  It was all very relaxed and uneventful.  In fact, the highlight of most days was going to the supermarket, as we have not yet picked up the car, we have no means by which to carry a chilli bin and thus no way to store food.  We only had one major mishap, when I misinterpreted the german writing on a seemingly cooked chicken to read ‘half cooked chicken’…. while pondering the major flaws and potential law suits for food poisoning claims, I realised that it in fact meant half of a cooked chicken.

Our final day was spent in the awesome city of Ghent.  Ghent has much of the beauty of Bruges, but a lot less tourists and more of a ‘real life’ “I got attitude’ atmosphere.  We had an amazing day, starting at what is now our favourite cafe of the trip Cafe Panorama.  The staff made a genuine effort to find out where we were from, what we were up to, gave great dinner recommendations and shook our hands as we left, wishing us the best for our future travels…. to add to that they made a killer rhubarb pie and delicious coffee! Justin and I left feeling like our day had been made.  We wandered down to the main part of town and wandered around, staring at the beautiful buildings. We found a piano had been set up in one, and just as we walked in an elderly gentleman sat down and started playing. It was truly magical! The afternoon was spent eating a singular praline and being hipsters at the Ghent Design Museum, Justo’s dream activity!

Paris bound, it is less than three days before we start our three month car tour.  Oh the excitement! Thanks for the good times Belgium!

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