Today was a transition day. We had a lovely breakfast on the peaceful canal at our B&B Huis Konig which I will miss terribly. It has been like staying at a 5 star hotel but with more charm and personalized service. Our host, Lynn, only has four rooms.
There is a wonderful website skyline webcams which has live streaming webcams from around the world. I look at it every day of the year and have often thought that it would be magical to spend Christmas in Brugge. In their Market Square on the webcam I have noticed a little Christmas market and a skating rink. “Many people who come here for Christmas end up sad,” said Lynn who grew up in Brugge and loves it. “On Christmas Day nothing is open and the little Christmas Market has mostly hot dogs and beer,” she said.
We learned at breakfast there was a direct train from Brugge to the airport so we had to speed pack. Glancing back down at the canal out the B&B’s floor to ceiling window as we left, I felt envious of two young women enjoying breakfast down on the canal. They had just arrived from turkey and looked very happy.
In 2016 there was a terrorist attack in Brussels at the airport so security was tight. It was so tight my hands and inside of my bag were swiped with a soft tool with paper on it which was run through a scanner. Our flight on Alitalia to Milan left an hour late, but was very efficient and even included juice or a soft drink and crackers. The only surprise was the man behind me playing video games at full volume on his lap top with whistles beeps, zings, and bells, echoing around the plane. It was like being in an arcade. No one batted an eye.
At the train station, we had to wait to find out our platform number. A funny moment happened when a man appeared in front of us, pointed at me and announced “Denmark!” Our train from Milan to Torino took one hour. We bought tickets in advance and for $25, ended up in business class in a space age looking private room where we were offered wine and crackers. We had a tv monitor which showed the train traveled at speeds of 185 miles per hour, probably our fastest train ever.
We love our hotel NH Collection Piazza Carlina right in the historic square in Turin. We booked this hotel in February and got an amazing rate and a room with a view. We ate dinner in their outdoor candlelit restaurant and the food was amazing. We were served a beautiful humus and veggie dish with all the vegetables cut like a work of art. Our main course was prawn tacos and a special ravioli in sauce. I ended my meal with strawberry sorbet that tasted fresh picked moments ago. David had a Brandy Alexander. It was the perfect dessert drink. The service was impeccable. It was the type of place where crumbs are swept off your table with a silver spatula.
It was after midnight by the time dinner was over, but the city was wide awake. We walked down to Piazza San Carlo where there are twin churches and arcaded sidewalks to protect you from the sun and. It is like being in a movie set here. All of the buildings are big and beautiful. It was like being in San Marco in Venice with just as much grandeur. We passed the Egyptian Museum which is supposed to be second only to Cairo considering the number of antiquities. We will wake up early tomorrow for a full day of discovery and adventures.
Note: click here to see live streaming webcams of Torino.