by Rich Landesberg
That’s Brats as in Bratwurst (not brats as in bad children…we have none of those). Our trip to this historic medieval city provided great opportunity to sample street food. The Christmas market was still open with stalls surrounding the open-air ice-skating rink. Each stall was a an homage to the wonderful world of street food. There was the big little shop with big cooking plates that held potatoes with garlic, onions, wine and a little of a lot of other things. Just perfect on a cold, rainy afternoon. Then there were stalls with Bratwurst and onions on a sizable baguette. Another stall sold pitas stuffed with meat and onions, further down the row were fried balls of dough. In between, places to buy hot spiced wine. All this as we watched the skaters in the historic town center of Bruges…and listened to the loudspeaker blaring “Hotel California” by the Eagles.
Our day had started with Dr. Morgan lecturing on the European Union and the significance of Bruges. One traditionally important industry in the town is lace. It takes 40 hours to make one lace handkerchief by hand. In one very quick lesson, our students saw how difficult and labor intensive it is. The students spent the rest of the afternoon touring the town, climbing the tower, tasting chocolate and exploring a place like no other they have seen.
I stopped into a little tavern overlooking one of the many canals and enjoyed a Trappist beer that was on tap. While I was sitting in this beautiful old tavern, enjoying the water view in this historic town, music was quietly playing in the background: “New Kid in Town,” by the Eagles. I wonder if they know how big they are in Bruges?