Our week-long European road trip got off on the wrong foot after being delayed at the airport in Dublin and delayed at the Port of Dover while trying to board the ferry to Calais, France. Port security informed us that we had to get out of line because the rental car company had called and told them that we weren’t cleared to take the rental car out of the United Kingdom. We finally got it sorted out, but 2 hours and 2 ferries had passed in that time. Despite the hassle at the border, we were finally on our way to Belgium and we hoped that our traveling mishaps were behind us.
The boat arrived in Calais and we were off, driving on the right side of the car on the right side of the road. By the time we neared Brugge, it was almost 11pm. Some road work on the outskirts of town (that our SAT-NAV didn’t pick up) lead us wandering through the suburbs, but we eventually arrived at our hotel, Die Swaene, at 11:30 that night. We were tired and hungry from the journey that started in Dublin much earlier that morning, and decided to splurge for room service to reward ourselves for actually making it to Brugge despite the obstacles. Our innkeeper informed us that unfortunately there was no room service since the restaurant was across the street and being it so late at night, it was closed. He offered leftovers from their breakfast buffet and few minutes later, he arrived arms full of small plates of salami, ham, chicken, cheese, fruit and bread. He apologized for the slim selection and warned us multiple times that the bread was from that morning (they take their bread very seriously in Europe). David and I were thankful for their gracious hospitality and happy that we weren’t going to bed with empty stomachs. Valentine’s Day was the following day and we thrilled that we were staying at “the most romantic hotel” in Brugge. When we walked into our room, we laughed out loud as we looked down at two twin beds.