January 20, 2011


Voila--my third set of pictures of my adventures exploring Belgium. The day after I went to Ghent, I went to Bruges (pronounced brooje in English) with some other exchange students-- six Americans and one Icelandic. It was a cool trip-- great to see the people who instantly became my friends as we left our home country.
It rained the entire time, however, which was annoying... cut down on our motivation to wander around the narrow streets and alongside the canals.

Also, for that reason, I didn't take as many pictures as I did for the previous two posts. But I took a few, and my friend Lila let me steal some off her Facebook album, so below are some photos.  At another point, the next time I go (and maybe there will be sunshine), I'll take some more-- it truly is a beautiful city.

Anyway-- Bruges is another of the old, old Flemish cities--it's been around for a good 1000 years. In the middle ages, it was one of the most thriving cities in Europe-- it was a seaport, which brought merchants and traders, importing and exporting goods. 

Full of canals, beautiful old medieval buildings, and history, it was pretty cool.

View of the city from the top of the belfry (belltower)


Inside one of the many churches in the city

Even though it was somewhat touristy, the carriages added a nice historic flair

The courtyard of the belfry

Groot Markt/Grand Place/Central Square

The Americans, in the top of the belfry.
Bruges was pretty cool-- it made me really want to return on a day with better weather.

But as my friend Liam and I got on the train headed southwest, I was content with the day. 


 It was January sixth, which marks the day of Epiphany. After I got back to Linkebeek and my host family and I finished eating dinner, we had the traditional galette des rois (king's cake), a cake with a pastry crust and fragipane (sweet almond paste) inside. Also inside the cake is a little fève-- a small trinket. The person who gets the fève in his or her cake gets to be the "king"-- complete with crown.

Tradition says that for the pieces to be fairly distributed, the youngest person has to go under the table and say to whom each piece goes.

In this case it was Diego.

And, he was lucky-- the little plastic statue was in his piece, so he got to be king.

A little bit of culture--even if it's simple. J'aime bien.

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