We didn’t have guests for Christmas and we didn’t plan any big trips. I think Jeremy was hoping to do nothing. I thought that was a great idea in theory, but once the “do nothing” days arrived I developed an urgency to go out and do something. We aren’t going to live in Europe forever! We can have a family Monopoly Marathon on any continent!
Despite the whining and complaining, I decided we were going to see the Snow and Ice Festival in Bruges, Belgium. To make the trip a little more palatable we traveled by train. The tickets (round trip!) were only 9.90€ per adult – and each adult could bring up to 4 kids. We could only find two kids to drag around so we didn’t really get our money’s worth. I loaded up my backpack with snacks and fun things to do on the train. Mad Libs were especially hilarious, as Andrew is demonstrating here.
The Snow and Ice Festival was conveniently located just few steps outside the train station. Admission was a bit steep, and because it was so cold in there (-6°C) I really didn’t get my money’s worth there either. I should have stayed inside for hours but I was too cold!
There were two kinds of sculptures. The transparent frozen water (the dwarf depicted above) was ice and the opaque frozen water (the book)was snow (tightly packed snow that was just as hard as the ice.)
The theme was rumored to be Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. There were trolls, dragons and other fantasy creatures but I did not see Hermione, Gandalf, or Bilbo Baggins – at least just like they are depicted on the big screen.
I thought this was the coolest thing (pun unintended): people had stuck coins into the ice. We didn’t try to do this (I did not want to take off my gloves and dig through my purse for change – I was freezing) but it gave me an idea of how to decorate our next snowman.
The sculptures were really amazing.
There was a snack bar inside (those two guys all bundled up are the bartenders) and behind them was a big ice slide.
The wait for the slide was a bit long but it was worth it!
After we’d had our fill of frigid, we went outside to warm up. I had been to Bruges before but Jeremy and the boys had not. It wasn’t as crowded as the other times I have visited, but it was probably 30 degrees cooler.
The city is beautiful. After eating lunch we wandered around the city. Their Christmas Market was still open, and there was an ice skating rink in the Centrum.
After the mandatory fun we got back on the train and headed home. It was New Year’s Eve and we had fireworks to light up. I could be guessing here, but I think some people were more excited about that than seeing the beautiful city of Bruges.