Bruges 31/08/2008

29/08/2008 Up early and off to st pancreas to catch the eurostar to Belgium. Sailed through the check in process and quickly met Chris and Tim, who turned out to have been a spice member. We had separate seats so met up again in bruxelles where I purchased some neuhaus champagne truffles for the journey to start us off as we meant to go on. The connecting train took an hour and we set off to walk to the hotel and bumped into Chris and Sarah who were already in a restaurant. We carried on to our hotel the Jan brito which was very nice and dropped our bags then headed back out to the beer brytje bar which was quite small and had a great selection of beer, I tried to drink as many fruit beers as possible as they are less common in london, and had banana, blackcrrent and passion fruit amonst others, we drank in here till about 6pm then moved on to the market square. Here we sat outside a restaurant and had some more good beers and some pizza and snacks to line our stomachs. We then headed back to the beer brutje, this time with Jo and Rita and Paul in tow who we had met at the café. We got through lots of beer in the place and some more snacks and it was well after one by the time I staggered back to the hotel, after a very interesting chat with a chap at the belgian fries van in the square.
Wole up didn't feel too bad but only myself Jo and Christine made it to the 10.30am meetup in the square. We set off then to the chocolate museum and picked up details of the chocolate walk. We also had a quick look at the chip museum which was much better than expected. We then followed the chocolate walk visiting 10 chocolate shops and I had an interesting chocolate in each, including wasabi at the chocolate line, which also had a chocolate snuff machine. We then met up with Paul and Rita who we had literally missed by feet earlier and we went on a tour of the half moon brewery after trying out their Zot beer. We got a view of bruges from their roof and another glass of zot for free, me and christine were first in the queue. After another zot, we retired quickly to the hotel then out again to meet at a pub in a little square past the main market square, after a coconut beer, we headed back to the Hotel Erasmus a restaurant renowed for its pairing of food and beer. I had some truly wonderful dishes with some really excellent beers. The service wasn't that quick but then we were not in London we were on holiday so I wasn't that fussed having just been in spain.
Up for 10.10am but didn't have breakfast even though I met Rita, Paul and Christine in the dining room. We set of walking around the canals in the sunshine and gradually did a beer walk. We looked at a good pub that had 300 beers so we stopped for a drink, luckily we had bumped into Jo at this point so she joined us, but of course not for beer. We walked on then past the chocolate shops and had some more ice cream and hot chocolate in the the bar choco in the sunny courtyard. On then to the half moon brewery to meet sunny and his girlfriend for another couple of Zots. Then back to Dumon to stock up on chocolate and a meal in the simon stevin square, though I could only manage fries. Back then to the hotel to pick up our backs and catch a taxi to the station, the trip back was uneventful which is how you want them, and it looked like it had been raining when we got back to london, which made the weekend of sunshine even better.