We had an early breakfast at the hotel and our cab was waiting for us at 9AM. We had a first class ticket from Brussels to Paris, but not to get to Brussels from Bruges. We checked at the ticket counter and discovered that out Brussels to Paris ticket included the Bruges to Brussels passage! Unlike the train that had brought us to Bruges, this one was top notch comfortable. It was foggy as we departed Bruges and most of away. The Brussels station was bustling and we had a bit of a wait since we had departed early. We were seated in first class which was the very first car of this Thalys train, so we had quite a walk. We departed Brussels exactly on time and our stewardess brought a menu to us as we sped out of the station. It was a first class lunch with wine or beer (all included!). Tom tried the local Belgian beer which was smooth and delicious. We got to Paris on this high speed train (~130mph) in an hour and a half.
After being accosted by a gang that was trying to pick our pockets (they actually grabbed Tom’s iPhone) and thwarting their advances with loud shouts and clenched fists - and grabbing the iPhone right back, we found a cab and were on our way to our apartment. Nothing was stolen. (The scam seems to be “sign this petition” - one diverts you while the other grabs stuff.)
Caroline, our property manager greeted us in the courtyard of this wonderful building and showed us around our studio apartment. She and her husband, Angus, are great and very helpful.
We had dinner that first evening at “Le Repaire deCartouche” and met the chef/owner, Rodolphe Paquin.