Friday, November 13, 2015

Bruges, Belgium.

From Ghent to Bruges I went! (It came out and rhymed; I went with it. Thanks, Aurelia, for the Dr. Seuss birthday book.)

Bruges was much different than I expected. I'm not exactly sure what I expected, but it was almost dream-like, with horse-drawn carriages, medieval architecture and cobblestone streets. It felt very foreign, I guess you could say, but in a fairy tale kind of way.

I read a really accurate description of Bruges when I got back to LA, which sums it right up: rather than simply find a heritage site surrounded by a city, it feels like the entire city is a heritage site.  

Nailed it.

Travel tips, photos, and the usual bla bla bla's, below!

Belgian chocolate!
This isn't specific to Bruges; rather, it's where I had way too much Belgian chocolate. Truffles on truffles on truffles. On truffles. I wasn't even sure what I was buying, but I figured I couldn't go wrong. And I was right. (Most places have a buying minimum, so you can't go in and cherry pick one chocolate - if you would even consider doing that.)

More Belgian fries!
Because, why not? No reason is ever needed for eating fries in my book. (Reasons against eating them are the bigger problem.) Go for the sauce, any sauce! I asked for the most boring basic option, which was quite similar to the lemon-y mayo I had in Ghent, but there are seriously dozens to choose from.

For the non-beer drinkers, go for the cava. It's been one of my personal favorites since traveling to Barcelona, so anytime I see it, that's my go-to drank. I didn't take photos, but I'm sure you can imagine a picture of a curated champagne glass atop a fancy tabletop.

More beer!
Because, Belgium, that's why! (Previously documented beer photo here.)

Walk around the city center!
I love a walkable town/city, and Bruges' historic city "centre" is certainly one of 'em. Kill a bunch of birds with one stone here: eat, shop, sightsee, repeat - all on foot. And then do it again by means of horse-drawn carriage. (No, really.) Walk past the Belfry, Market Halls, and the Church of Our Lady, and if you can, go visit Michelangelo's marble Madonna With Child (inside the church). I didn't have time, unfortunately, but I'm passing the tip along!

Take a horse-drawn carriage around the city center! 
Not a bad option if you don't feel like walking, right? I did inquire about the well-being of the horses (I can't help it), and I was informed that these guys are pretty happy, which was nice to hear. But back to the simple fact of taking a horse-drawn carriage around Bruges: you can do that. It's a routed, thirty minute tour of the city center, for up to five people. (I had actually walked around for a few hours before I learned about it.)

Walk around the canals!
This is as serene as it gets, really. Calm and quiet waters with weeping willows draped along canals, you can't get much more peaceful than this. I'll reiterate what I said earlier: it's really a fairy tale/storybook kind of setting.

Take another canal tour!
I didn't get the chance to take a canal tour here, and maybe one canal tour is the same as the next, but c'mon. Can you really get sick of that view? This is known as the "Venice of the North" for good reason, so I say go!
Climb Belfort!
The belfry of Bruges, AKA Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the city center. It has a narrow staircase of three hundred and sixty-six steps - and you can climb them (for a fee) during the hours of 9:30AM to 5PM - which I totally missed. Womp. I was able to poke around the interior courtyard and climb maybe twenty stairs though, if that counts?
(Loved this.)

Anddd some more photos of my short time in Bruges, below:
I caught an early morning set up for a big race - not a bad backdrop, huh? 

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