|After bidding the Elodie farewell, along with Luke (which we later learned was spelled Loek), Sender and Michel, we trundled off to our B&B Abiente. It was in the heart of Bruges just two blocks from the Markt which is the centre of town. The B&B was delightful, tastefully decorated, and the owner was very pleasant. Breakfast was also very well done with enough to pack a lunch which she encouraged us to do. The first day we just wandered in the old section of town near the Jewish section, passing churches and old alms houses along narrow streets. While looking at a map of town we bumped into Brenda and John Nordgren and had lunch at a lovely cafe. At first we thought they didn't like us, because it took a long time to be asked if we wanted a drink, but then we realized that the Sunday lunch is a longer relaxing meal for the locals, meant to last quite awhile.
Later, we met the rest of the Elodie group at the Car Wash and drinks in a bar that had over 400 kinds of Belgian beer. They had a huge glass covered wall displaying the beer. It must have been 50 metres long. I had a special Belgian beer that came in a round- bottomed glass with a special wooden bolder with a handle on the side. Dinner was in an Italian restaurant which was quite good.
The next day it was raining in the morning so we lingered over breakfast and then went out and wandered everywhere in Bruges. Since it was Monday, the museums were closed except for the diamond museum. For €10 each we had a tour and a demonstration on how they cut and polish diamonds.
As we got hungry we picked what we thought was a cafe in a small square for lunch which tuned out to be a very nice restaurant. Heather had an excellent beef stew and I had a steak, salad and frites. Even with two beer the total came to just under €50 which I thought was quite reasonable.
For a change we decided to stop at a delicatessen and pick up some paté, cheese and a small canapé. The lady said the cheese was quite mellow, despite the smell, however we found it difficult to eat. We dined in the upstairs attic lounge of our B&B and finished off the beer and wine we bought before boarding the Elodie.
Tuesday morning we had a nice breakfast and headed off to the train station, dragging our suitcases along the cobblestone streets to the train station. We bumped into Pat and Hans Bjerrisgard so rode the same train to Brussels where Sandi Ballinger was waiting for us.