While on our 3 1/2 week European road trip this summer, we stayed at the wonderful Sunparks De Haan, along the coast. It was located just 20 minutes away from Bruges Belgium. A place I have seen so many pictures of and wanted to see for many years. Flashback to 2014:
Unfortunately for us, it was a bit rainy the week we were there in July. The weather forecast looked pretty good on our departure day, so we opted to spend a few hours roaming the city in good weather. As you know we are nomadic and carry all of our belongings. An umbrella isn’t currently part of our belongings and we didn’t want to purchase one. It is amazing the fun we can have with no plans and just showing up to a city.
Bruges Belgium Market Square
We left the holiday park just before 10am and we took the scenic route into Bruges. We wanted to see the life off of the freeway and enjoy looking at the homes and farms. When we arrived in the city, we landed right in Bruges Market Square. We were sure if we should be driving through there, as there were only horse and carriages. Ooops! Did we make a boo boo somewhere? Oh well, we just boogied on down the street a few blocks and Ta Da! an open parking spot. We quickly fed the meter and we were off. Of course we roamed around admiring the canals and all of the buildings. I just couldn’t get enough pictures. Alan and the kids just couldn’t get enough of many sweet aromas drifting in the air. Every other minute it was, “Oh, do you smell that?”. Right next to our parking spot, was a chocolate shop opening up for the day. We entered the shop and were greeted with a flowing triple tiered chocolate fountain! The staff member quickly brought out a tray of homemade marshmallows, for us to dip in the chocolate. WOW! We knew we needed to eat some breakfast first, so we said we would return. There were plenty of places making fresh Belgium waffles, chocolates and much more. It was a sweet lovers paradise. We couldn’t resist stopping for a Belgium waffle, I bet you would too! What do you think? They were over the top expensive so we did a little sharing. Our daughter wasn’t too pleased, but did receive her share in the end. After that we meandered the entire area. About every few store fronts just happened to be a chocolate shop. Like good Pavlov’s Dogs, we were quickly conditioned to enter the shops and wait for our treat. We even went one step further and had our son enter the shops first. He would scope them out and look for the goodie dish or samples of chocolates. If samples were found, he would give us the signal and we would all enter for our treat. Oh we are so bad. We did end up buying a small bag of sweets at one of the shops, probably out of guilt.
We “sampled” at more shops than we should have. Are we bad? We did also end up buying a hot chocolate that was pure bliss. Of course, whenever there was a purchase to be made our daughter was right there to make sure she got her share. We were on such a sugar high, we continued to walk and walk.
The meter was ticking and time to head back to the car. I am not sure we experienced much culture on the visit, but our taste buds were dancing and we did get to soak up the Market Square and surrounding area. Not bad if you have just a few hours. What would you have done?