Belgium and The Netherlands – Accidental Pleasure

Bruges Bicycle

A little over two years ago my husband and I went to The Netherlands and Belgium. I always say we went there by accident which is the best way I can describe how we happened to end up there.  It was one of the most amazing trips we have ever taken.

It was our first time ever to Europe. We had a bunch of frequent flyer miles and we knew the dates during which we could take a vacation. My husband did the research and the choices for destinations for the time period we had available were Hamberg, Brussels or Amsterdam.  None of these were cities, or even in countries, that either of us had expressed interest in visiting during our many discussions of the countless places in Europe we wanted to visit. We were determined to use our miles so I chose Amsterdam and that is where it started.

I did the research for the rest of the trip and we ended up staying in Delft in a gypsy caravan; in Amsterdam in a Bed and Breakfast in a residential neighborhood outside of the city center that we had to take the ferry to get to; in Brussels in a bed and breakfast in a historic residence owned by a free spirited feminist and in Bruges in a bed and breakfast filled with interesting art that was the home of two musicians.  We took the train and walked everywhere we went.

We ate great chocolate and waffles; drank great beer; saw amazing art and architecture; got a private tour of church that included the playing of the amazing pipe organ by the organ master (also our B&B host); visited several town square markets; climbed the steeple of a 700 year old church; visited Ann Frank House;  walked through Amsterdam’s red light district (my husband was mortified, but I wanted to see it); visited The Hague; visited amazing art museums including The  Van Gogh Museum and The Rijksmuseum ; saw amazing pipe organs including one that had been played by both Handel and Mozart; floated down canals; met nice people; and participated in the Amsterdam Marathon (we did the half) among other things.  It was an amazing trip.

Sometimes the things that happen by accident turn out to be some of the most memorable!