Blondes Have More Fun

Many call Bruges the "Venice of the North." One walk through winding cobblestone streets, one glance up at the tower of city hall and especially one boatride on a canal later... and many in our group feel the same.

Known for lace, medieval architecture, chocolate (no, we still haven't had our fill) and Stella Artois (Blonde #1), Bruges has cast her spell. 

Yesterday's journey began with a modern view; we stopped to ogle and photograph the Atomium, a Belgian monument of an atom—at one million times actual size—made for the World's Fair. Erected in 1958, it gleams in modern, silvery-sleek glory.

Today's adventure started off on a very different note, with a walking tour that included the old town square, The Church of Our Lady (which houses the only statue of Michaelangelo's to leave Italy during the artist's lifetime) and a moving visit to Church of the Holy Blood, where many in our group got the chance to venerate a relic brought to Bruges during the Crusades—a scrap of cloth said to be stained with the blood of Jesus. (Legend has it that the blood reliquifies each Good Friday.)

Much of our day was left free to wander Bruges for some local fun. Some took a ride on the canal, past a window display of a mannequin Marilyn Monroe, complete with floorboard fan to replicate that famous moment in "The Seven Year Itch" (Blonde #2).

Some enjoyed what most consider to be the classic meal of Bruges—steamed mussels and French fries (Blonde #3 - they're fried golden brown, after all).

<Blogger's Note: Belgium may have ruined every future fries experience for each member of the tour. There is nothing, NOTHING, like Belgian fries. Perfectly crisp outside. Perfectly salted. Somehow even more perfect when dipped in mayonnaise, the way locals like them best. Every fry consumed after this week will be chewed with anticlimax.>

Some purchased TinTin comic books and graphic novels (Blonde #4).

Some, including this blogger (Blonde #5), enjoyed gourmet Belgian hot chocolate, made by dipping chocolate candy squares into cups of steamed milk and topped with housemade marshmallows.

Almost all of us experienced the frenzy of a Belgian parade for Carnivale—dozens of floats made by local groups, all in costumes and wigs (Blondes #6-???), all "dancing" to techno music, all throwing (read: pelting!) the crowd with candy and confetti. Most of our hotel room floors carry the remains of the day. 

We enjoyed a top-notch dinner at Maximilian's Tea Room—scampi, filet with bernaise, more of those famous fries (Blonde #3 returns!), chocolate butter cake and Zot & Chimay brews (Blondes #7 & 8). 

Truly, what a day of fun. If only we could stay for more ... But tomorrow, it's off to the capital of the Netherlands—Amsterdam!


September 22
4:30 PM
Saturday September 22, 4:30pm
Christ the King Chapel - Admin Bldg. 3rd Floor
E.g., 09/22/18
E.g., 09/22/18