I noticed the rail corridors between Berlin and Paris did not go straight, which makes sense considering historical European rivalries. This afternoon we pored over maps to discuss possible destinations (my son’s first time), and he’s quite a history buff and video gamer, so his images of European places are shaped in ways mine are not.

When I suggested taking a closer-to-the-coast route to go from Berlin to Normandy (instead of via Paris), as I liked the little town of Bruges, Belgium, he got excited: “You mean go to France via Belgium?”
He started laughing, as if that would be the most exciting ever:
“Whenever Germans invaded France, they always went through Belgium!”
dessert Belgian waffle