Dreaming of Bruges

Wednesday marks one week in Yellowstone and it’s been a rough seven days.

Everything in the Tin Can is busted. We can’t use our fridge, heater or bathroom for the next month. Running water is limited and the pit toilets in our campground are already getting old.

Despite today’s amazing weather, we’ve had a lot of rain, sleet, a little hail and freezing temperatures overnight. It’s going to be a challenging month to say the least, so I’m taking a break from reality and returning to the fantasy land of Bruges.

I have been to Europe a handful of times now and it is always difficult to pinpoint my favorite spot from each trip. But not this time.

Bruges, Belgium is a dreamland of canals lined with colorful, ornate old buildings dripping in architectural details. Every street, every building, every rusty bike and flower box and archway was picture-perfect.

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I ogled Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child” in the Church of Our Lady and stared at a vial that supposedly contains Christ’s blood at the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

This guy guards the vial with his life.
This guy guards the vial with his life.

I’m not typically a waffle-lover but I could live on (melt in your mouth, unbelievably delicious) Belgian waffles.

And the beer. The house triple at De Garre was awesome and, according to the bartender, cannot be purchased anywhere else in the world.

We shared our table with a Belgian couple that has visited the bar for that triple every night for 40 years. We talked politics and travel with three British gents and swapped Colorado stories with an Indian couple from Colorado Springs at the table across the way. We made room for the Austrian biker and his Brazilian friend who showed up looking for seats and beer recommendations.

This is why I travel.

I will be back to Bruges, but for now, when I’m cold and wet and frustrated with our 50-year-old tin can in Yellowstone, I will dream Belgian fantasies of the colorful square, beer and waffles.

Experiences are what matter most whether it’s Yellowstone or Bruges. I will appreciate the lessons I learn here one day, hopefully soon.

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