Spring has come to Brugge almost overnight.
For the last few days wildflowers have been blooming along the canals. Snowdrops and crocuses were first and now the daffodils are opening up as well. Snowdrops and daffodils have always been my favorite flowers and I love seeing them growing naturally in them ditches and earth banks under the trees.
Callum and I went out for coffee and croissants this morning while Declan sat his maths exam under Jennifer’s supervision. The market and town squares were a hive of activity with building works outside every restaurant and cafe. Some official date has clearly been reached and they are all building platforms for outdoor seating.
Seeing this makes us realize how different the place must look in summer. I love the idea of seeing ‘proper’ seasons again in Europe. There’s a sense that the cold winter months really make you appreciate the contrast with the other seasons.
The feeling of lightness is reinforced as we start to shed layers of clothing. I’ve given up on wearing my gloves and hat (although I’m alone in that in our family) but even Callum walked out this morning without a hat. We’ve started thinking about where to dispose of the boys’ ski jackets – an idea which a month ago we’d given up on, not being able to imagine doing without them.
It is funny how acclimatised you get though. The heady temperatures we’re now experiencing are a high of around 7 degrees. Back home that would be freezing. But after weeks of sub-zero shivering it really does feel, if not warm, at least pleasant.
This afternoon we visited Brugge’s cute archeological museum. It’s probably a great little place if you speak Flemish, but without any understanding of the signage it was all a bit baffling. Dressing up in medieval clothing was a highlight for all the wrong reasons.
We then wended our way back to our apartment playing hide and seek in the alleyways of Brugge. More precisely the game was ‘run away from Jennifer’. Twisty, medieval, cobbled alleys may be the best possible place for hide and seek.
We had to take advantage of being in Brugge to have Jennifer’s favourite dish – moules. So we set out this evening to find a suitable place. It isn’t hard to find moules in Brugge, but it’s very hard to find them anywhere that is reasonably priced. We were partially successful in that Jennifer had moules and the rest of us had good meals; I had a very yummy Flemish beer stew. It was, however, the most expensive meal we’ve had on our trip so far. We didn’t eat outside though; in fact we found a cosy restaurant with an open fire.