and so it was decided that bruges would be the answer, and it was.
have you ever been to bruges? no? let me tell you about it: it is filled to the brim with bustling chain stores, tourists, overpriced restaurants and did i mention the chain stores*? despite this, bruges is adorable. it whetted our appetite for canals, the tiny and cute houses, the flowers, the water-fronting gardens, the...oh the fucking picturesqueness that came to plague me. (seriously, europe, it's like you're showing off!)
we walked and walked until the golden hour when we walked some more, breathing in the beauty, drinking belgian beer*** (except for c who walked into the store with us and inexplicably walked out with a tall can of polish brew). the golden hour in bruges is especially magical and i would highly recommend spending it there some time with a freshly charged camera. just sayin':
when we came back to brussels we returned to grand place and took night pictures of it, whereupon i realised (again) that i really need to learn how to use my camera properly (at this point i use the stupid function on a very smart camera, which is sort of like using your laptop to hammer in a nail) if i am to have any sort of photographic successes in the night business. here is a terrible shot, look at it with your glasses off and you'll be much impressed with my skill.
* we discovered that h&m clothing stores play the same role in bruges** and amsterdam as starbucks does in seattle and vancouver - there are at least 3 on every block and all seem to be thriving! it became a sort of joke for me and c - "oh! it's the h&m! remember it so we know where we are!"
**it did, however, come in handy when on the first sunny day of the trip my trusted sunglasses decided to give up the ghost and i popped into the nearest h&m and procured their very last pair, a story that later amused/annoyed crusty juggler who told me i sounded like such a world traveller. she told me she liked my shades and in my most blasé voice i answered, "i bought them in bruges. for €5." "i'll have to say that about everything now," quoth she, "'i bought them in bruges. for €5.'"
***this is my new favourite beer (the kriek and framboise are stellar) and i must find it in canada or i shall expire of sadness.