Friday, September 18, 2015

The Long Walk Back to Bruges.


I

 t was just past 4p when we decided to walk back from Damme to Bruges. It would be at least an hour and a half walk.

We set out on the path that would lead us back to Bruges.  It was a nice tree lined path.  On our left side was an embarkment that shielded us from the canal.  On our right side were fields of green punctuated by the occasional quaint country cottage.



It was a quiet morning on the path.  No one passed us by on foot but several cyclists whizzed by.  Each bicyclist that rode by was fuel for comment by Z.  Those that were dressed in *fancy* cycling outfits were just showing off.  Some had nice bikes, some not so nice.   Of course, he had to point out all the *old* folks aka those that looked to be older than me breezing along on their two wheels.  I just ignored him :-)


On this entire trip,  I have been impressed by how sharp eyed Z is.  He has very often pointed out things to me that I didn't notice and I consider myself to be a fairly observant person.  On our walk today, Z spotted a huge mushroom, nestled in the grass.



When I told Z that I was surprised he saw the thing, he exclaimed how could I not have seen the thing - it's so big.  It truly is.  I think it's the biggest mushroom I've ever seen and the fact that it was fully intact is testament to how it's been left alone and allowed to grow to this size!

I had to put my foot next to the cap just for perspective.  Look how big that thing is!

Boys will be boys and when they're curious, they are double trouble!

Sharp eyed Z spotted a huge slug on the path.  He knew that if you sprinkle salt on a slug, you essentially kill it - it's not a painless death for the poor creature.  Mind you, I don't like slugs.....at all.   I used to do the same salt treatment whenever I came across one in my garden...no doubt munching on the leaves or flowers of a plant that I had been carefully tending to.

Today, Z didn't have salt on him but he had a packet of sugar.  He decided to find out what would happen to the slug if it got sprinkled with sugar.




Of course, the slug was fine.  So Z kept sprinkling on sugar until he pretty much covered the thing.  It was still alive but as I said to Z, it probably can't move simply because of the weight of all the sugar on it.  Experiment fail.  We moved on.


It felt like we walked for an eternity - the landscaper around the path had gotten to be same old, same old about 20 minutes into our walk.  Z and I managed to pass the time chatting and that was nice.  Usually, we're separated by at least 15 steps but on the path, we walked side by side.

Just around the time the canal path ended and we found ourselves back in the big city, raindrops started falling.  A drizzle at first.  I whipped out the blueberry poncho in case it rained harder. 


We made it to a bus stop just around the time that the skies opened up and poured down buckets of water on us.  I was quickly getting drenched.  We stood at the bus stop for a few minutes.  I knew the Number 4 would take us back to Sint Salvator Cathedral and from there, it would be a very short walk back to the hotel.  Unfortunately, we didn't know when the next bus would arrive and Z was impatient to move on and so we did.

In not time, any part of me that was not covered by the blue poncho was soaked through.  Z dashed on ahead of me and by the time I caught up with him, he had taken refuge in the front entryway of an apartment building.   As I was walking to meet up with Z, the Number 4 bus passed me by.  If we had only waited a couple more minutes at the bus stop we would  caught the bus.   Grrrrr........

It was a veritable downpour, bordering on torrential.


It didn't look like it was going to let up anytime soon and I was drenched through and through so what the heck.....we walked on.  Actually, it was just a few steps short of a dash.

Our next stop was inside a Carrefours Express store - located stone's throw from the heart of the historic center.  Not only was it a good place to escape the rain for a few minutes but it also gave me the opportunity to pick up some a sweet snack - a box of Jules Destrooper Lace Biscuits with Cashews.  We can get Destrooper cookies in the US but I could not recall ever seeing the lace biscuit so a box of those accompanied me to the checkout register.

By the time we found ourselves meandering back through the streets of the old city, the sun had broken through the clouds.  We must have looked like two drenched idiots walking along.

Z navigated us back to Jan van Eyckplein which I immediately recognized once I saw the church and the statue of the famed Belgian artist standing before it.


Statue of Jan van Eyck.

I love how they decorate the corners of buildings.

We made another stop, sitting on the front stoop of a building near the church.  I broke into the box of cookies and we munched on a few as we watched the world go by.  I'm sure the rain had pretty much sent everyone scurrying indoors so the streets were quiet - not a soul around.

We passed by a restaurant. The place was empty because it was still early a tad too early for Belgians to eat.  The menu said they serve chicken.  I was hungry and I was sure Z was as well.  He's very quiet by nature and he's very content to go with the flow so even if he's hungry, if no one else is, he won't say anything.  I decided I have to keep him on a regular eat/sleep schedule as best I can.  So, we headed on inside the restaurant and got seated at a table next to the window.  You can only get a window table if you arrive early to a restaurant and well, we were so early that we were the only ones :-)


Z is a meat guy.  If there's no meat, it's not a meal.  Tonight, he ordered the chicken and I had a tomato mozzarella salad.  I don't know who had the worst meal - Z or I.  He had five pieces of chicken that were supposed to be prepared five different ways but they looked like five pieces of frozen chicken you get out of a box and toss into the oven to bake for a few minutes.  My salad was well....a salad with mozzarella that comes out of the plastic package.  The meal was reasonable in cost but tonight we truly got what we paid for.  Thankfully, it was edible and it did fill us up.


After dinner, we took a stroll around the old city.  Landmarks were familiar sights now.

The spire of Church of our Lady.

The red colored front entrance doors of Sint-Salvator Cathedral.

We headed to the fountain at t'Zand Square so Z could have a look at it.  Turning around, I saw a rainbow in the sky....one of the nice gifts you get when you bear through a rainstorm!



We ended back at the room well before it got dark.  I was ready to call it a day and Z had no complaints about quitting early.  He's your typical Millennial Generation kid - between the games on his iPad and the music on his iPhone, he's always able to keep himself occupied.

For me, I have to shower, repack my suitcase, and leave a few minutes to write this posting.  I also got a bit of good news earlier today.  After having submitted multiple Airbnb requests for places in Paris, I got an acceptance!  We'll be staying in a place near Rue Moufftard in the 5th Arrondissment.  I'm just so relieved to finally have found a place for us!

Tomorrow, we're off to Ghent!   Goodnight from Bruges!