Well, as I’m typing this post, my vacation is over and I’m back home. However I still have a few posts left to talk about the rest of my European trip, so I will do that in the next week or so. 🙂
Although I don’t have a ton to say about Bruges (we were only there for a day and a night), I quite liked Bruges. Very nice. You definitely get the “European” feeling, with all its charm, history and great architecture.
Bruges (or Brugge) is a world heritage city (UNESCO) and is located on the west coast of Belgium and is called the Venice of the North because, just as Venice, it has water canals going throughout the city.
Bruges is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town’s identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Bruges developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting.
Wanting to get the full experience, we took a 30 minute boat tour around the town and then did the 30 minute horse-drawn carriage ride. Although it was very nice, the carriage ride was more expensive (39 euros for 1-4 people) and covered similar points of interest as the boat, so unless you have 4 people in your group, you might prefer the boat ride (about 7 euros/person, if my memory is right).
We stayed at a charming hotel, Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce, which I heard was featured in the movie “When in Bruges”, but I haven’t seen the movie yet so I have no clue if it’s true or not! It was on the pricier side for our budget, but it seemed like most hotels in Bruges were expensive anyway, and this one was perfectly located near the Market square, had a great view and the room was clean and comfortable, so all in all, it was worth it (plus, we were only there 1 night). This hotel is very small, only 16 rooms, cozy and charming. The only bad thing I can say about it were the pillows! hahaha This time, they weren’t feathers (thankfully) but they were square, which makes it weird to sleep, but oh well, we still had a good night sleep.
In the Market square, you find the Belfry tower (Belfort), which is not a religious building (for a change. lol) but a civic one. We were also told that it leans 1 metre to one side, so it’s the leaning tower of Bruges… haha There are plenty of cafés and restaurants, shoppes and chocolate boutiques. In the evening, I managed to get myself a yummy waffle with fresh strawberries and chantilly (whipped cream). Yum!
During the boat ride, the driver/guide showed us a dog hanging out an open window over the water, he said it would probably be the only thing we remember from the ride. I think he might be right! Cute dog, apparently he’s always hanging out that window.
Just as we were going in for the night, we saw something right beside our hotel that caught our eyes: The Wall of Beers! Too big to fit into 1 picture, this wall shows off the hundreds of Belgian beers. Quite a sight! We were after all, in Belgium, the land of beer, fries and chocolate.