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Amsterdam to Bruges

February 4, 2010

After almost a month in Amsterdam, it’s sadly time to move on. We had both considered staying for longer, but finding another sublet had proved to be such a nuisance that we decided to get going instead. I do think we’ll be back sometime this year… but we’ll see what happens. Since we have no idea where to go next and we’re in that part of Europe anyways, we figured why not Bruges for a few days? So off we go.

Tickets can be bought online or from ticket machines at the train station (even on the day of departure). What’s great is that the ticket doesn’t restrict you to a particular time. You buy a ticket from point A to point B for a specific day and you can leave when you want to. Nice. The ticket cost us €48 each and the journey takes around three and a half hours (with one transfer/change). There are twenty or so trains that make the trip everyday from Amsterdam Centraal to Brugge Railway Station.

My first cheffing job was actually at a Belgian restaurant in Sydney (Australia), so I’m excited to see how our food compares to ‘the real deal’. I remember making stacks and stacks of fresh Belgian waffles with their scrumptious pearl sugar bits in our old cast iron waffle iron almost every day. The thing was so old and heavy, it would give up at least once a month. There was something so comforting in the ritual; the smell of fresh yeast, the rising batter, the familiar texture, and knowing a recipe so well that the process feels as natural as breathing, that adjusting and reacting is as instinctive as scratching an itch. I also remember the mussels… The restaurant was a popular one and on a Friday we would normally serve 300 – 400 covers per service. Mussels, not surprisingly, were very popular and cleaning hundreds and hundreds of kilos of them was something the whole kitchen brigade pitched in with. I’ve always loved seafood, but after almost a year of cleaning mussels, I was sick of them. It became a family joke: ‘what do you feel like for dinner? How about we have mussels?’ – ah ha ha, very funny, guys. It was almost two years after I left the Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe that I ate my first pot of mussels again and I’m back to loving them.

Well… I may be missing Amsterdam already, but I sure am looking forward to dinner tonight!


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