12 Hours in Belgium

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8 AM: After a late night session of wine and revelry in Amsterdam, Ally and I find ourselves actually following through on our last minute idea to visit Antwerp. We ran to the train station without tickets and found ourselves in the last two seats.

10 AM: Antwerp. The perfect size city for someone like me. The Cathedral of Our Lady Church stands majestic overlooking the city center. We get lost down side streets and visit the old castle that feels like it’s out of a fairy tale.

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12 PM: After exploring a strip of stores we sit for lunch. A horse carriage pulls by with free beer if he stops in front of you. I have my first sip of beer, ever. Probably also my last sip, but thankfully Ally was there to take full advantage of the Belgium offering.tara-lipinski-belgium6tara-lipinski-belgium7tara-lipinski-belgium4tara-lipinski-belgium8tara-lipinski-belgium9

2 PM: After a little more exploring and a coffee stop we make our way back to the train and head to Bruges. I am floored by the countryside we pass on the way. The windmills made me feel like I was traveling back in time.

4 PM: Bruges, a city so picturesque it feels almost like a Hollywood set. We hop a ride to see it from the canal and meet an old school Captain. He has us ducking under bridges on some of the narrower parts. We see a local celebrity, the dog that sits on a pillow perched windowsill, and the house from In Bruges where Colin Farrell took his big leap.

tara-lipinski-belgium10tara-lipinski-belgium11tara-lipinski-belgium206 PM: Back on our feet, we find ourselves on a tour de chocolat. For someone like me, this is heaven. The chocolate is colorful, rich and playful. I stock up. We sit down at a cozy local café for dinner and tiredness starts to set in.tara-lipinski-belgium5tara-lipinski-belgium12tara-lipinski-belgium13tara-lipinski-belgium16

8 PM: On the train again, making our way back to Amsterdam.

8:06 PM: Missing Bruges.

Xo, Tara

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