July 4, 2018

Europe 2018 day 5: the other Belgian 3-star

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After a good night's sleep, we got up and took a leisurely breakfast on the terrace by the canal at Hotel Van Cleef.  This was relaxing and delightful, as it was still early and the tourists haven't come out to cruise around on boats yet.

July 3, 2018

Europe 2018 day 4: In Bruges

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After our very long lunch at Hertog Jan, we returned to Bruges to try to do a little bit of sightseeing.  The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historical Center of Bruges is not large, and everything is within walking distance from our hotel.

Hello Kitty had wanted to visit a few of the historic windmills, so we walked towards the canal at the eastern end. Sint-Janshuismolen and Koeleweimolen are among the ones still standing and are actually open to visitors, but unfortunately we only got back to town after visitor hours had finished.

Europe 2018 day 4: 3-star farmhouse

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We got up bright an early to take the train from Antwerp to Bruges.  Like other days in our itinerary in Belgium, we are only staying one night here.  And for this one night, we chose Hotel Van Cleef and got ourselves a canal view room.  As we browsed through TripAdvisor, Hello Kitty and I were amazed to find that out of more than 500 reviews for this hotel, not a single person gave it a "one star", and only one person gave it "two stars".  For that reason alone, we were curious to check it out.

It was immediately apparent to us after we arrived at the hotel.  While it was too early to check in, the receptionist gave us a tour of the hotel premises, offered us a voucher for a free tour of the historic center of the town - which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety - and offered us coffee and breakfast on the hotel's patio facing the canal.

July 2, 2018

Europe 2018 day 3: hanging out with uncles

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We got up early in the morning to take the train to Antwerp.  Today we would be visiting Hello Kitty's uncles and aunts, and we got picked up after a 30-minute train ride.  We took breakfast at Den Artist so Hello Kitty could get her caffeine fix and sat on the sidewalk overlooking the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.  Unfortunately the Museum was being renovated and seemed closed.

I wanted to hit a few more UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city, so big uncle drove us around.  Our first stop was Maison Guiette, a house designed by Le Corbusier.

July 1, 2018

Europe 2018 day 2: tourist traps in Brussels

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Woke up in the morning to views of the hydrangeas in the garden right outside our windows at La Chambre d'à Côté.  Not something I'm used to, but how could I not love it?!

At the appointed time Anne-Catherine brought us the breakfast spread, and what a spread it was!

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