Friday, October 25, 2013

DATELINE: Bruges to Lille, France

Vive le Roi! 

Who was to know that the King of Belgium, one Philippe and his wife, Queen Mathelda, would be in town today?  But he was indeed!  He became king in July 2013 upon the "retirement" of his father, King Albert.  He has been making a country-wide tour and today was his day in Bruges.

We checked out of the apartment and planned to spend the morning on a city bus tour followed by some nice strolls and ending up for lunch at the Duc du Bourgogne.  Up in Markt square there were hundreds of squealing school children waiting to get a glimpse of the king, so no city tour buses.  Plus all the streets were blocked off so in order to get anywhere meant long detours.  So we just ambled around until we got cold and a nice Belgian hot chocolate seemed like a really good ideal

Rich, deep chocolate flavor topped with thick cream.  A diabetic's dream!a

Was it good?  What do you think?
Then it was back up to the Markt to see if the king had done his duty and the city could get back to its daily business.  Not a chance.  Crowds still lined the route he supposedly would take into the city, kids in the square, more people jammed into the City Hall square.  Sent off some more post cards (your is on its way) and then it was time for lunch.

View of the restaurant, overlooking the canal

We ordered mussels, of coursel  They were delicious.

The Mayor's boat ramp is right across the canal from the restaurant.  The king was supposed to take a canal ride at 2:30 and, if he actually did, he'd get on here.

After a wonderful lunch we strolled back to the apartment (the king still hadn't shown up), got a cab and went to the train station.  We arrived in Lille about 5 PM under cloudy skies and occasional rain.  Our hotel is across the street from the station.  It's convenient, clean, comfortable, completely furnished by IKEA ~ but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  And it's only for one night.  Mr. C's sniffle has developed into a full-fledged cold with juicy coughing and totally stuffed head.  I, on the other hand, seem to be getting better.  I think we are both suffering from travel fatigue which we probably won't be able to deal with until we get back to Paris and move into the Marais apartment.

Meanwhile, we pick up the car tomorrow and head to Normandy.  See you there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liz says:

So very glad you dined at the Duc du Burgogne! I still think it was one of the best dining experiences I've had anywhere in the world...

You mentioned you read Eric Larson's "Garden of the Beast." Excellent book, and I enjoyed it as much as his "Devil in the White City." Highly recommend that, if you haven't read it.

Please take good care of yourselves. Perhaps you've bitten off more than you can chew in one trip, n'est pas???