Friday, October 05, 2007

While there are plenty of autos wheeling about the winding cobblestone streets, I was impressed by the large contingent of bicyclists zipping around. The bicycle is a major transportation vehicle in Bruges.

Lunch: After our visit to the Church of Our Lady it was the end of the formal tour and time to break for lunch. Marianne pointed many restaurants she felt were acceptable around the square. The six of us all chose the same one; plastic enclosed porch seating with those outdoor heaters. We were all hungry thirsty and cold; we were ready for a respite. I sat next to the older lady from Florida, and during the course of our meal discovered that we had much in common. She had worked for the department of the Navy as a civilian and was familiar with all the places I'd been stationed during my stint in the Navy. I was a little disconcerted ;0 when she kept asking me if I remembered this commander or that department head. She acted like she was conversing with a peer and not someone her daughter's age. Be that as it may, we did enjoy reminiscing about "the good-ol'-days.

Finishing a tasty repast of chicken stew accompanied by the ubiquitous vin rouge, we ordered coffee. When the coffee came , it was in a 2 cup hammered copper pot, which needless to say captured D.'s interest to the point that I thought she might try to barter it from our waiter. She refrained, but was definitely taken with this coffee server.

Before breaking for lunch we agreed to meet at the Post Office, just across the square, after we had finished shopping etc. at 4PM. So off we all went in our different paths to scour the old city for gifts and what-nots. In and out of shops we went looking, pricing, handling, and of course buying. Souvenirs, refrigerator magnets, knights in shining armor, delft porcelain. lace bookmarks, etc. etc.

"Rel, cumonzehere, look vwat I 'ave vound! mmmm, chocolate!"
What better gift to bring home to family and friends than a taste of the famous Belgian chocolate? The aroma of the chocolate shop was all the ad necessary to have us oohing and ahing and pointing here and there saying one of those please, a box of those, and oh yes, of course I'll take two boxes of those. And so it went until we had a bag full and I could already see half of my suit case filled we..... CANDY?

And so it went. The time was moving steadily toward 4 Pm and I wanted to get to the post office a little before 4 so as to mail a postcard home... you know how it is with us postcard/stamp collectors. ;)

Making our way in the direction of the Post Office we of course stopped to take advantage of more photo ops. While D. was taking a pic of moi against a scenic backdrop of "olde" Bruges, she noticed a small antique shoppe just behind her. Says she, "let us go to one last shop just to get a flavor for the antiques of this area."

Exchanging greetings with the charming man with the handlebar mustache to die for, who owned the shop...I looked back to see D. staring at something on a shelf behind me and just out of my sight. She had this look on her face as if she's captured the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow. I stepped back to see what had captured her interest so intently. Meanwhile she's muttering "and they're on sale. Oh my, they're 20% off! Oh my, Oh my." I knew without looking that I was sunk and I might as well start cutting an arm off now. And what pray tell did I see when I peeked around the corner?

A hammered copper coffee pot!

We were an hour late leaving Bruges since we all were having a grand time. The trafic to Lille was bumper to bumper, due to rush hour plus an accident. Once past Lille the road opened up and so did Marianne, as only a 22 year old devil may care person (six feet tall and bullet proof) can and proceeded to scare the wits out of all her passengers by driving in excess of 100 mph. D. was not a happy camper to put it mildly!


Anonymous Rose Dewy Knickers said...

Catching up on the last three posts. A whirlwind of activities. :)Thanks for the travel tips, they will come in handy for sure.

The copper coffee pot is gorgeous and well worth the euros spent.

That's why I would never let someone else drive a tour bus. Shove over and give me the wheel. ;)



8:14 AM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

O yeah! Bruges is meant to be a well pukka place... it looks v similar to an old English town but the houses are far more like dolls' houses!

1:05 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I would probably be stressed out about the driving too.

But chocolate? Chocolate would help.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

Im so happy D found one of the pots!!!! Looks like you had a lovely time!!!! Shopping is my favorite thing to do. No matter where I am!!!

4:49 AM  
Blogger PEA said...

And what's wrong with a suitcase full of chocolate????? hehe I'm a chocoholic and can smell these chocolate shops a mile away! lol I so love the thought of you and D going into all these little shops, soaking in the atmosphere...and what a thrill for D to have found one of those hammered copper coffee pots!! It's gorgeous! I wish it was my 40th birthday coming up but that happened 10 years ago! lol xox

10:32 AM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

I love that hammered copper coffee pot, Rel. I can see why D. was so rapt to have found on...and at 20% off!

Flossy was over this morning and we were discussing your trip and both of us travelling in France via your posts...we're anjoying the journey, too.

Right, next post, please...

1:56 AM  
Anonymous tongue in cheek said...

You mean to tell me you had chocolate in that suitcase? Had I know that I would have so gone through it!
Diane ALWAYS finds the best deals!!

2:51 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

Sounds like a really interesting day and the copper pot is beautiful, I can see why D was so smitten. Bruges looks a lovely place, I really ought to try and go there someday.

3:33 AM  
Blogger ParisBreakfasts said...

WOW What a haul!
Belgian chocolate is YUMMY!

5:28 AM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time!
Love the coffee pot; that's a great find!
I'm a postcard collector from way back, I always ask for them to be sent when friends travel, and when I travel I always mail some to myself. It's like the last little morsel of the treat of the vacation...

I'm in good company, I see.

Delighted to hear all the fun stories.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

12:51 PM  

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