A love for travel was instilled in me from a very early age by my dad. He traveled internationally a few times a year with his job, and each time he would come home, he would bring me back a doll from the country he visited. I soon had a collection of ‘Dolls from Around the World’ in my bedroom, along with stories in my mind that my dad had told me about the culture, food, and sights of the city he explored. He always told me that when I got older, I could go with him on one of his trips, and sightsee during the day while he was in meetings. A few weeks ago, we finally made that a reality!
My dad flew me from Vienna to Brussels, Belgium to spend a few days with him. My friend Timothy, who lives in Brussels, showed me around during the day, and I went to dinner with my dad at night. I loved everything about the city, from the ornate architecture in the Grand Place to the comic book scenes painted on the sides of buildings down winding streets. Of course we were tourists and saw Mannekin Pis, and a museum of Mannekin Pis dressed up in different clothes from around the world which was hilarious. I ate Belgian waffles multiple times a day, which are indescribably good and so much better than anything I’ve ever eaten claiming to be a Belgian waffle. And moulets et frites (mussels & fries!) and pain au chocolat and croissants and macaroons from Laduree and chocolate samples from everywhere. My tastebuds were so happy to be in Belgium but my waistline was glad I don’t live there.
I took a day trip to Bruges one day, which was the most dreamy city. Bruges is often called the ‘Venice of the North’ because of the canals that run through it and the city’s overall quaintness. To me, it felt like a cross between Oxford, UK, Amsterdam, and somewhere the Gingerbread man would live. For some reason the entire train ride there I had the song ‘Colors of the Wind’ from Pocahontas stuck in my head (random), and when I sat down to lunch, as soon as the waiter brought my food that song started playing on the radio. That was pretty much how the whole day went. By the end of a few hours I had taken 800 photos (some of my favorites you’ll see below in the first set), and had officially claimed Bruges as one of my favorite places I’ve ever been.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to see such beautiful cities, for the chance to enjoy some quality time with my dad on this side of the Atlantic, and for the team in Vienna who let me leave during a really busy week to make this trip happen.
Je t’aime, Belgique.