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Bruges: Chocolate Festival

Written on: Friday April 6th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen

Today I travelled to Brugge with Beth and Hannah.  We took the Thalys from Paris which was a superfast train to Brussels then transferred to Brugge.  Navigation of the town was pretty simpled because the town is pretty small.  We found our hotel and dropped off our bags before exploring the town.  The day was perfect with the sun shining.  The main street of the town, Steenstraat, was only one block away from our Hotel, and I was surprised to find the street so crowded.  This was most likely due to the Chocolate Festival and the Bike race. We walked along the crowds and eventually stopped for some Frites!  They were pretty good except for the fact that there was only one size (XL) and the mayonaise was heavy.  After eating our fries we walked to a grocery store to buy some chocolate. After shopping, we found a nice little park outside of the main center of town.  

Brugge is often compared to Amsterdam and Venice due to it being surrounded by canals.  After sometime, we went for a walk along the main canal to find some windmills.  Unfortunately the weather got cloudier so our pics didnt come out too great.  After, we got some dinner and met up with Lindsay, another girl from Rouen, and her sister Courtney at a little ice cream place.  Here we ordered some sundaes.

The next morning we woke up early and took full advantage of our Free Breakfast.  As usual Beth and I stocked up on some bread for sandwiches and some muesli for snacking.  We then headed of to figure out the Chocolate Festival.  It turned out to be more confusing than we thought. However we ended up buying tickets for the Chocolate festival which was housed at two areas, one in a tent on one side of town, and another in a town hall in the otherside of town.  We started at the main one at the town hall.  This part was really cool.  There were tons of exhibitions and stalls giving away chocolate samples.  The exhibitions were interesting becauseyou got to see people build/carve things out of chocolate as well as see people make the chocolate that you usually eat, such as the guylain shells.  After stuffing ourselves with chocolate we went on a canal tour which was pretty short but providided great views of the city.  After we headed to the other exhibition hall, this was much smaller but more lively due to it housing the kids chocolate village.  After this we headed back to the hostel.  We next took a bus to the movie theater to watch Chocolate, which was free with our entrance ticket for the chocolate festival.  The movie was interesting and funny, and actually made me hungry for more chocolate! I remember most of the plot line since I read the book, but obviously Hollywood added some stuff.  Afterwards, we met Lindsay at her hostel and listened to a live band perform some covers.   At Lindsay's hostel, I tried some Raspberry beer which I was very nervous about at first, but ended up being pretty delicious!