Bruges 

Around Wednesday of last week, we decided we needed to go to Bruges for a night. Keep in mind, Bruges is a 2.5 hour drive for us, so it’s super close and actually a bit of a shame that we hadn’t yet gone. It’s always interesting in Europe how a 2 hour drive can take you to what feels like another world. I love that, and one day if I leave Europe, I will certainly miss it. So, anyway, we decided to make the trek and now I can state with certainty that I love that city and I will be tempted to go once a month.

How would I describe Bruges? It’s obviously medieval. It’s obviously picturesque. You can, obviously drink amazing beer to your heart’s content. There is something else though. The city exudes a slower pace and a warmth of the people. I always try to get a feeling for a place when we travel. I don’t want to just see the tourists sites (actually I tend to avoid them) but I want to understand what daily existence is like there and I want to attempt to connect to the history and the past that lingers in the present. Maybe it’s Europe that creates that desire or maybe it’s the actor in me. Cobblestone streets, old stone buildings proudly standing the test of time, pubs, richly decorated rooms, people lazily riding bikes to and fro, and old fashioned stores create a connection to the past that I so desperately want to soak up. If only Bruges would not allow cars, I dare say it could be perfect. I loved finding an abandoned street, looking up at the rooftops and hearing horse hooves approaching with a carriage behind. I wish I could experience those streets 1 or 200 years ago.


Our first day was rainy and cold, which is annoying but also ads a certain amount of romance. 🙂

Anyway, Bruges maintains the magic of a time gone by and once you escape the hordes of tourists, it’s really just lovely. We went for one night, staying at Hotel de Orangeries, but when on Sunday we woke to perfect blue skies and warm weather (a novelty in this part of the world) we knew we couldn’t leave and checked into another hotel, Van Cleef, that I had on my radar. I’m SO happy we stayed as Day 2 was just perfect!!! We started the day at Hotel de Orangerie with some of the best croissants I’ve ever tasted and it just got better from there.

We are big boutique hotel people and always on a mission to find the best. I’ll do a review on those later as I’m starting a “hotel review” section. We really were able to relax (which can be hard for Dragan and me) drink and eat good food, walk off everything and take in Bruges. Dragan and I travel the same as we prefer just to get lost wandering around, stumbling into random things and experiences, rather than following an itinerary or seeing “the sights”. We drank beer along the canals watching the swans lazily swimming past, we sat on terraces and read our books, we stopped into antique stores to listen to the owners describe the city in their words, we enjoyed watching proper dance classes on a square, we laughed through the rain on Saturday, we stopped to pet dogs and speak to their owners, we walked until the big canal ended just to see what was there only to discover windmills and water that became so GREEN the further out we walked. It was hard to leave on Monday but it makes it easier knowing we can go back anytime.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the photos. My blog site is actually The Cobblestone Road so please follow me there where I will be posting from now on!

Also, follow my Instagram for daily pics of travel, beauty and style!!! Sarah Eggar

XOXO

Sarah

Spinalonga- The Island of the Lepers


I was surprised after arriving in Elounda, Crete to discover that right across the water, there was a beautiful island with a turbulent past. I first spotted the island from our room, seeing old ruin looking buildings on an island in the middle of the sea, and upon asking the hotel staff, discovered the island is called Spinalonga and was one the main leper colony in Greece from 1903-1957. What?!?! That’s like something straight out of Biblical times. 


I never really thought about leprosy. I heard about it, really, in sermons or in Bible studies. It’s such an OLD ailment. I imagined the disease in a time when people were shunned and had to go around crying, “unclean, unclean”. I didn’t know it was around in the 1900’s or that it is STILL around, only now, luckily there is treatment. 

So, from the moment I discovered what the island was, I imagined only incredible suffering, and I wondered how alone he people felt there, exiled to that island. 

In fact, the more I questioned and researched, the more I discovered how wrong I was. Even though suffering was prevalent, the intersting thing about the island is that they had homes, cafes, churches and streets and even a school for the children. 


Those with the disease were forced to abandon their lives and go live on the island, but I like to imagine they formed some sort of lives amidst their grief. I can’t imagine being able to look out and see your home though, (as you can see Elounda and Plaka) knowing you are not allowed back. I like to think there was some level of peace simply in the setting. The water is so lovely and clear. When you go to the Island to visit, you can even swim. 


Another intersting aspect is during WWII, when the Germans occupied Greece, only Spinalonga was left alone, so those living on the islands were given the blessing of not having to encounter the Nazis and the occupation. 

Many pictures were taken on our walk from the hotel to Plaka, which is the village directly across Spinalonga. There are so many churches on the walk framing the scenery. It’s all just so lovely and old, so it’s humbling, to say the least. The small Church in the second picture down is almost like a mailbox on the side of the road. I discovered they are actually erected on the road for people who have died in accidents there. 


 In fact, when we had dinner in Plaka, the presence of Spinalonga could not be escaped. 

Once the sun set, Spinalonga lit up as if to make itself known and its history remembered. 

I was utterly fascinated with this place. I hope you have, also, enjoyed getting a glimpse of Spinalonga. 

I can’t recommend visiting Crete enough. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram as well for more up to date photos! Sarah Eggar. 

XoXo, 

Sarah

Finding Beauty Amongst Grief-Crete




Today we arrived in Crete, Greece. We desperately need this trip as Dragan has been working crazy hours for the past 6 weeks and we have not had any quality time together; in fact we’ve had virtually no time together at all. The trip in itself has been slightly stressful as we weren’t fully prepared. We tend to take advantage of opportunities that often arise last minute and then we are in a full on flutter. But, now, we are here, in paradise. The Greek Islands are so special to me as the history is vivid, the people are warm, and the landscape is breathtaking. I never really thought I would come to places like this, and I feel very lucky. 

That being said, last night we were finishing packing, and we heard of the terror sweeping through Nice, in Dragan’s home country. Today we traveled with a heaviness in our hearts. I’m just so tired of hearing these news. I’m sad for what’s happening in our world. I’m scared of the evil we face and which we witness now far too regularly. 

I walked along the beach today, and I will write more about it tomorrow as there is much to say; but I wandered along the shores of this land whose civilization has battled good vs evil for thousands of years…… and I felt overcome. The world seems filled with grief, and at the same time it exudes such beauty. I wish we could all stop and see the beauty so our hearts could be filled with wonder and our minds with wisdom.

BEAUTY: 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving. I wanted to take a few moments, while curled up with a cup of coffee, in my fur robe, to give thanks for this past year.

There have been ups and downs, joy and heartache, love and loss, but I’m so grateful to be here and to have the people in my life with who I am blessed.
I’m grateful for a new husband, who is unconditionally kind, massively handsome and completely charming. I’m grateful we are together on this day, on his first Thanksgiving.
I’m grateful for the 10 years I had with my little girl Bailey Marie , who was my saving grace and a joy in my life, and whose loss left a space in my heart, and I’m grateful for the new puppy we will be bringing home for Christmas.
I’m thankful for my wonderful family, who are giving and lovely. I love them.

And for my friends near and far, old and new…….Here are some images from my year that I cherish.

68648_10101454277049488_448788647761983932_n  sarah4 296812_995660012748_55704276_43720901_2273540_n IMG_3190 IMG_4707 DSCF6686
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Thanks for reading…..
With Love
Sarah
Check out my Instagram at Saraheggar