After Paris Nicole, Andy, Mysha and I decided to travel to Bruges. The trip was decided a little bit on a whim but mainly because my father and Mysha's grandfather had served their missions in Holland and this part of the world. We had no real plans once we got to Bruges so only full day that we had there we woke up and decided to bike the 19 km to Holland for lunch and then bike back.
It was so amazing! After biking through Spain, Belgium, and Holland I think biking is the way to see Europe. I probably would not recommend it in a major metropolitan such as Paris or London but through the countryside and even in Barcelona biking was the way to travel. We biked along canals the entire trip seeing beautiful countryside full of windmills. We ate lunch in Holland and walked around Slius and was a little surprised by the promiscuous shops. We left to return to Bruges but on the way back had to fight wind and drizzling rain so we came up with games to occupy our time (we also had to fight the build up of lactic acid in our legs). We stopped only to take a brief break to frolick in Flander's fields - great quality fun.
When we got back into Bruges we rode around the town stopping in the little shops and visiting the Christmas markets. I think that this part of Europe does the Christmas season the best I have ever seen. I loved learning from our favorite chocolatier the stories and traditions of Santa Claus who comes on the night of December 5th and leaves toys in the good children's clogs. I just love the traditions and cultures of this area! The trip only left me with two regrets - I wish we had spent more time and I wish that I could have experienced this trip with my Dad. The people were also all very friendly and accomodating for our lack of speaking Dutch.