We didn’t get back till about 230 in the morning. So a lie in, late breakfast and checkout later we still have enough time to wander around the city. This time we walk a different route to the centre and find squares which we haven’t been to before. We walk around the old alleyways. I notice the comic strips painted on the side walls of the buildings. Some defaced by graffiti, but all telling a different story.
We reach St Catherine’s square. A pretty market square with a church at the end. A gothic church with baroque interiors. This time there are no pictures on the stained windows. There are no apostles looking down at you, but there are still lots of paintings and beautiful sculptures. We sit down for a rest. I can hear a baby crying. I never used to be interested in babies, but now I cannot resist having a peek. She wants to come out of her mum’s sling and as soon as her dad picks her up she is happy and starts pointing at the various sculptures. She is about the same age as little Lakshmi. The mum sees me looking at her baby and smiles at me. We light a couple of candles. I keep saying we, but it is actually Murali who is the candle man. I just take the credit and hope that a bit of luck will rub off on me as well.
We walk around the shops and there is time to buy one last chocolate, from the shops that Elouise recommended. I’m saving it for my precious mindful moments. I didn’t get far reading my mindfulness book. I stopped at the point where there is an exercise involving savouring a piece of chocolate. I thought ‘I can do that’. I’m not a chocolate person either but can enjoy a piece of chocolate anytime, especially if they are this tasty. The lady at the counter offer us some free samples. Mmm mmm heaven on a plate.
I’ve been eyeing this red linen ‘Armani’ jacket which I happened to notice on a shop window for the last two days. Today as we walk past, the shop is open and I go in and ask if I could try it and how much it costs. Twenty five euros he says. Then it clicked. It’s a second hand shop. Too late, I have to act polite and so I try it on. I notice the dirt on the collar but it is still one of the prettiest jackets I’ve seen. I need to find an excuse to not buy it. It’s slightly too big for me. If it was the right size would I have been tempted? I don’t know. It must have belonged to some chic lady and must have been on some amazing outings. If only it could speak, I try to picture the scenes. A smile spreads across my lips.
We collect our bag from the hotel and head to the local restaurant that we went to on Thursday evening. There is still time for one last beer. I’m not hungry yet and so we share the beef stew. I was about to dismiss the Belgian cuisine but after that stew I have to have a rethink. It was one of the most delicious meals that I’ve ever tasted.
This time there was no ‘to do’ list apart from making it in time for the concert. We’ve had time to explore the city centre at our pace and was able to see it at a leisurely stride. It is a charming city. I might not come back again as I don’t have any need for it. But never say never, I suppose.
It is time to walk to the station to catch the Eurostar and head back home. At the station I notice the new MasterCard adverts advising us that it is the memories that count and not the souvenirs. I don’t use MasterCard anymore, but love their adverts. Tomorrow I’m on babysitting duties. And so the adventures continue….