A lovely dinner of quinoa salad and local Belgium beer last night at a lovely restaurant with my host family and their two kids and two lovely ladies from the Ukraine. No need to ask, “Wouldn’t it be loverly?” It was! And equally delightful was the walk through Brugge to the restaurant and then back to the hotel. I often talk about the old world charm of Salzburg and Prague, but Brugge seems to me an undiscovered treasure. Breathtaking architecture, curving cobblestone streets, winding canals with stone-arched bridges, the requisite churchs and more, framed against emerged tulips, plum blossoms and forsythia. Kicking myself that I didn’t allow a day to wander here.
But I was determined to at least take a brisk morning walk before the long trip to Brussels Airport. So when I awakened on Sunday morning at 7:30, I resisted the temptation to roll over and sleep in and got dressed to start the day. Down the two flights of my most quaint and homey hotel, only to find out that the door at the bottom was locked. Egad! What if there was a fire? Looked around for alternative exits and finding none, returned to my room and finished my notes to send out to yesterday’s workshop folks. Heard something like an opening door, so went down again to escape and…locked. This time I knocked and the innkeeper opened it. Claimed there was a back entrance I was supposed to use, but damn if I could figure out where it was. But no time to find out, just scooted outside in the gray morning for a quick half-an-hour until my host came to pick me up.
Below are some photos to show a bit of Brugge, minus the morning birds and chill air and smell of impending rain and some of the more spectacular buildings in the town center. It’s safe to say our life is a constant reminder of what we should do and stupidly often don’t—like starting the day with a walk in the fresh air, no matter where you be. There’s nothing so heartening as that sense of being born anew with the day, in company with birdsong and the buzz of beings—human and otherwise— setting about their daily chores. A time to sit with the ducks at water’s edge, be still like the crane, let the gentle ripples of the water flow through the soul, listen to the music of the awakening day. So much better than starting the day with the next news horror or Facebook petition or even a stirring game of Solitaire! And doubly pleasurable if the walk is through a remarkable city like Brugge.
On to Salzburg!