Friday, August 9, 2013

Hello Brugge

Day 30, Hello Brugge
by Shana

We said our goodbyes to Amsterdam and napped our way to Brugge on a bus. We knew we had some important things to do, so we headed straight for The Lybeer hostel to get situated. We were pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of our first hostel experience. There were brand new bathrooms and showers and wi-fi that worked. Once we dropped our luggage off we headed out into town for an important task; food eating.
On our first day in Brugge we tried the "best waffle" at Lorenzino, the "best ice-cream" at Da Vinci and the "best beer" at De Garre. I don't have much waffle, ice-cream or beer expertise but I'm going to have to agree that all of the above were in fact the best. The waffle was made in front of us and was topped with Nutella and powdered sugar. It was the richest dessert I've ever had. The ice-cream was also delicious. Well, Jerrad's cookies n cream ice-cream was. My mint chocolate chip had a strange menthol/black licorice taste for a minute, but I got used to it after a few licks. We're obviously ice-cream experts after all of the "walking fuel" in Amsterdam, so take our word for it and go to Da Vinci. And lastly, the beer; Garre, which is only available at De Garre on Garre street. It was an adventure to find the place because it was tucked away in Diagon Alley. Jerrad and I loved it. If it were just me claiming it was the best beer, it might not mean much. My opinion was tainted because they served delicious, cute cheese cubes with it, which apparently can make me love anything. (Take note: If I'm cranky, hand me some cheese cubes.)
Throughout the day we wandered around the city sightseeing old castle-buildings (see diagram 3c), slave horses pulling carriages and shopping. I accidentally purchased my first pair of drop-crotch/harem pants (the comfiest things ever invented) and Fresh Prince patterned leggings because a) my backpack wasn't heavy enough with crap I don't need, b) the pants I already brought with me aren't unflattering enough and c) I needed some leggings to match my blog. Jerrad got rewarded for letting me shop with the rest of our soda. Classic conditioning at its best.
We headed back to the hostel to actually check into our room and were told that night we would be in the same dorm, but the next night we were in separate dorms. I was a little bummed because this was never mentioned in our reservations and I'm a big baby. Oh well. After meeting our dorm mates (3 irish guys and 1 sleeping girl) and relaxing for a bit, we headed out again. We heard* about a close by hostel that had €1 beers for happy hour, so we hurried over before it ended. When we got there, happy hour was almost over so we ordered multiple beers to save some dough. We set the beers on our table and that's when Shanazilla came out to play. Apparently I have no control over my limbs and I started smashing our beers left and right like they were buildings. Keep in mind this was before any alcohol was consumed, so the clumsiness is even more impressive. After cleaning up our mess and drinking what beer we had left over from the massacre, we ended out night with delicious Belgium fries with joppie sauce (pronounce yaw-pee... I think.) We've already decided we're ordering joppie sauce from Amazon when we get home so we can eat it every day. We later found out that the place we randomly chose for fries is rumored to be the best fries in town**. We're like Jedi snack masters.

*A lot of the tips we got for the city were from a really awesome (free) map made by young locals, called Use-It. There are a few cities that have these maps. I wish every place we were visiting had one.

**For those that want to know, the best place to get fries in Belgium is in Markt square. There are two green snack stands next to each other, and the one on the left is best.

diagram 3c - Medieval Brugge building

Day 31, Bruggeomnomnom
by Shana (and Jerrad decided to hi-jack some of my post and add his own two cents. Can you guess what he wrote? If you guess correctly, you win a prize.)

Belgium waffles? Check. Belgium fries? Check. Belgium chocolate? Check. Belgium beer? Check. Since we already accomplished the important things in Brugge, we weren't that disappointed that it rained all day. We we're a little sad we never got to have a picnic in a park or do a guided walking tour of the city, but the cool weather was nice.
In the morning we were told that there was a private room we could switch to (instead of staying in separate dorms) and we said heck yes. Without asking any questions we accepted the offer. The room may have not had lights, a window curtain or a sink, but it did have its own shower, toilet and bed. And cool wallpaper. We felt like we were staying in the honeymoon suite at a 5 star hotel.
We started our day with trying to find a recommended breakfast joint, but it was closed for the week. So we walked around searching for a tasty, but cheap breakfast. We ended up at Hema, which was like Old Navy + Target + Ikea rolled into one. After fueling up we made our way to a chocolate store and purchased some chocolates (we wanted to purchase just one or two pieces, but all of the main shops swindle you and make you buy full boxes). Espresso, whiskey and raspberry were just a few of the flavors we chose. All which were correct choices. I can tell when something is extra rich because I won't eat it all at once. We actually had leftover chocolate for later. 
Next up was Madam Mim; a mix of vintage clothing, antiques, knit/crochet items and a few crafts. Aka, my paradise. I tried on a few vintage dresses and sunglasses but decided I should't buy any more things right now (I'll save that for Paris).
We then checked out the outdoor market where Jerrad picked up a chicken kabob sold from a truck whose logo is a drawing of chickens watching rotisserie chickens (see diagram 9.8). After chicken eating we wanted to do something touristy so we went on De Halve Mann Beer Tour. It's the last brewery left in the city of Bruges. We tried all of their beers. Our favorite was the Straffe Hendrik. This ass-kicker was sitting at 11% and was smoother than ya' gam gam's pudding. We also learned every beer has its own glass and can only be served in its own glass. That's crazy considering that there are over fourteen hundred beers in Belgium. See diagram 9.6 for the small collection of glasses they had at the brewery. Next, we checked out a candy shop that sold handmade candy made right there in the store. Unfortunately we didn't make it in time to see a candy-making demonstration, but we did pick up a strawberry lollipop which we fought over for the next hour.
Our final night ended with hanging out in the hostel common room eating top ramen and planning future accommodations (Paris: booked). We were excited to go to bed since we had our own room and didn't have to worry about breathing in stranger's farts in our sleep. It was the best night sleep we've had since the east coast.

just a medieval guy playing a harp in the street


pug on a table in a hostel. I miss Yoshi.

Chickens watching rotisserie chickens. 

taxidermy cheese shop?

11% beer

my new pizza bag, great for carrying friendship bracelet supplies

chocolate supplies

Madam Mim's vintage/handmade shop

super uneven sidewalk stones

De Garre!

view from the top of the brewery

diagram 9.6

Belgium beer used to be made by mannequins

C-3PO used to work at the brewery

oh hey

mustache mustache


our honeymoon suite

the worlds most comfortable pants (I promise I didn't gain 32 lbs since leaving, it's just the outfit)


  1. I'm gonna guess Jerrad wrote "This ass-kicker was sitting at 11% and was smoother than ya' gam gam's pudding." Do I win beer? Awesome you went to Bruges, I think it's the coolest, especially with the slave horses and Brugse Zot (Erin and I went to that brewery!).

  2. Heyyyyyyy Zee. You win. I'll ship you some Belgium beer in a Ziploc baggy. That's cool we went to the same brewery! I was wondering if we went to any of the same places.