It was the second time I traveled by Eurostar for holiday (the first time was to Paris) and I think they are great for short haul trips as they are much quicker compared to flights. As for accommodation, as a reward for enduring many 0430 mornings in winter during my previous working life, I had collected enough hotel points to exchange two nights of hotel in Brussels. So with my accommodation being free, I booked myself into the 5 star Sofitel Brussels Europe by the European District!
這是我第二次坐歐洲之星火車去旅行(第一次是去法國巴黎)。我覺得如果從倫敦到歐洲短程旅遊到話，坐歐洲之星比飛機更方便快捷。至於住宿方面，因為之前工作關係，在冬季捱了四個月多次0430早上從倫敦出發到比利時上班，結果我累積了蠻多旅館點數，足夠兩天的房間。既然有免費房間，那就獎勵一下自己，訂了一家在布魯塞爾歐盟區的五星級旅館，Sofitel Brussels Europe。
On Saturday, we went to Bruges. It’s a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City famous for its network of canals and medieval buildings. Since it was our first visit, we spent the morning wandering around town and climbed up the famous Belfry. The bell tower was built around 1240, is 83m high, and has 366 steps to get to the top. The climb is slightly tiring, but once you get to the top you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the center of Bruges and beyond.
Lunch was at the oldest pub in Bruges called Cafe Vlissinghe. Tucked down a little alley about 1km away from the centre, this pub first opened in 1515. Today it still has an old log burning working stove which I think used to be some sort of big iron. However, I’m pretty sure the stove isn’t 600 years old!
中午我們到市內最古老的酒吧午餐。Cafe Vlissinghe 離開市中心約一公里，在一條窄窄的小巷裏，從1515年就已經存在。在那寒冷的下午，屋裡卻很溫暖，因為有一座用真火燃點著好像是大熨斗的火爐。不過，我看那座火爐應該沒有600年老吧!
After lunch we strolled east towards the river which used to be the old city boundary to look at the windmills. Originally there were 25 windmills there, but now there are only 4 left. The oldest one was built in 1770 and has an museum inside but is was closed when we were there.
The afternoon was grim, and we could foresee the bad weather coming, so after spending time taking photos we walked back into town along the famous canals.
Belgium is famous for two things ~ chocolate and beer ~ which happens to be mine and OH’s favourite respectively. During our weekend, we sampled over 13 different types of beer which was a great introduction into the fantastic beer that Belgium has on offer. And of course, I stocked up on my favourite chocolate before we left。