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Trip Report Bruges--more than chocolate and lace

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DH and I returnd earlier this week from two weeks in Belgium and London. We decided some months ago to visit London and booked our flights with British Airways miles and an apartment for a week with One Fine Stay. After some research here on Fodors and some family encouragement we decided to spend part of our holiday in Bruges, a small city I had visited almost 30 years ago.

We arrived at Heathrow at 10am and transfered to our London hotel, the Crown Plaza St. James which we booked with our remaining BA miles. It was well located for a short stay. We walked to lunch at the Rubens at the Palace Hotel and then did a little walking, window shopping and picture taking. On our walking tour we passed Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St James Park and Parliament. We enjoyed dinner at the on site Bistro 51

We left Londonthe next morning on the Eurostar at 11:00 and cruised to Brussels. After the beautiful station at St. Pancras, Brussels Midi was an unattractive concrete let down. We bought our tickets to Bruges and asked at the Information booth which train and track to take. As it turned out the woman at that window gave us the wrong info. We were on a pokey regional train that stopped in a bunch of towns. When the conductor came through he tried to explain to us and came back to make sure we got off in Ghent and switched to what was probably the train we should have taken in the first place.

Once in Bruges we went to the taxi queue and lucked out with our driver. He provided a guided tour as we drove along. After 29 years I had forgotten just how beautiful Bruges is. We checked into the Hotel Oud Huis de Peellaert and got exactly the room we wanted-- away from the street and without the charming beams and slanted ceilings we don't want to meet in the dark. The bath is very nice with a radiant heat floor. We have 3 windows that open so we can have fresh air at night and being 2 flights up we have a view over rooftops.

After a nap attack we went to find dinner. The desk clerk suggested 3 restaurants only one of which we found and its menu didn't really appeal. We found another little place nearby which ended up being quite good. We chatted a little with the German couple seated next to us. The husband referred to himself as a "pensioner" and we explained DH was the same. They had driven the California coast about 5 years ago in an RV and found it beautiful. They are from Trier which I visited 29 years ago on the same trip which first took me to Bruges.

We strolled back to our hotel for a really good night's sleep

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