Sunday was another festive day. How nice it is to be able to actually enjoy the holidays without fighting through malls trying to find the last minute gifts. It seems we really have lost the joy of Christmas in our frantic rush to get everything done. My Christmas rush was before I went back to Canada. Now, having that stress out of the way, I’m finding that the holidays can actually be fun… imagine?!
We loaded Caesar in the car and headed to Bruges. We hadn’t been back to Bruges since our first trip there two years ago. I had forgotten how lovely it is. Maybe some day I’ll get there when the sun is out…
Despite the rain, there was a festive air about the city. The shops were allowed to be open the three weekends before Christmas and about half seemed to be open on Sunday.
The lights were hung across the streets and a skating rink was set up in the Grote Markt. There were stalls in various squares selling Christmas goodies. Some were the real deal and some were the usual tacky junk. We scored some chocolate jenever (a lot like Bailey’s with an added kick) and some cherries in jenever. We lunched on Bratwurst (much to Caesar’s delight) and then decided to get out of the rain.
We piled back into the car and found our way to the station where the Ice Palace was set up. It was incredible. Ice carvers from all over the world (Canada too) had carved this fairy tale land out of ice and snow. It was wonderful. Caesar loved it (not to mention all of the attention he got… I should be charging people to take photos of him… I’d be rich).
The palace was interactive and a great place for kids (and big kids like us), with slides and tunnels and little discoveries around every corner. There was even an ice bar with jenever and mulled wine to warm your hands and tummy.
If you are in the area, it is well worth the 9 euro entry fee and dogs are allowed provided they are on a leash. Oh, and rain is not a problem as the palace is inside a climate controlled tent.
Meanwhile, back at home, our not so Icy Princess was enjoying her new palace. IKEA can be a very, very bad place.