Hope you all had a lovely week. I spent mine catching up with loads of work hence my absence from no42. I was also working on this two part blog post I’m sharing with you today.
I will be honest with you. This is one of those bad confessions to make online but I’ve only ever heard of Bruges before because of the movie In Bruges. Now I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie to begin with, mostly because of a large amount of very dry British humor which at that point of my life I just didn’t get or bothered to understand. Few years down the line and I love it! If you haven’t seen the movie yet I urge you to do so. Anyway we hit Bruges in April earlier this year and these are my postcards from our two day trip.
We started our trip with some homemade coco J. mum brought with us in a flask…The drive to the ferry is more than two hours away and coco was well appreciated along the way. What a sweet gesture.
We boarded in Dover. It was a boring ride. Ferry didn’t offer much except for a very overpriced and overcooked full English breakfast. I also missed taking pictures of the white cliffs of Dover as it was too windy and we weren’t allowed outside. Rubbish, I say but they do look stunning even if seen from the inside of ferry boat.
After another hour of driving from Dunkirk (yes, we did so much driving) we finally arrived to Bruges. What a stunning place! I was sold, like strait away. I can now say it was the beauty that got to me. The charm of being lost in the endless maize of cobbled streets whilst trying to find our hotel was amazing. Which by the way was literary tucked away minutes’ walk from the town center We booked a room in a small and very reasonable priced hotel Europ.
The architecture of Bruges is stunning and I admit: I was one of those tourists who walk with their heads in the clouds, annoying all the locals by stopping every two minutes and having sayings like: OMG check this building! OMG look at that! Yep, that me. That annoying tourist.
One thing I did enjoy very very much are all the chocolates…in shop windows and in my belly.
The town is riddled with canals and small streets making it really hard to navigate with the car so most people use bikes as their mean of transport.
The center square is quite touristy with loads of thing to do. You can get a tour with one of the local tour guides or a horse & carriage for about the same amount of money. (£30) We didn’t do either. Being there only for a day, my eyes & legs were focused on exploring as much as I could and being stuck in a tour is not really me. There was a great Picasso exhibition on in one of the galleries but the queues were massive and overpopulated with bunch of Japanese tourists. Same thing happened with the clock tower. So we did the only logical thing and went for people watching while sipping a pint of fine local beer.
Bruges is not just famous for its architectural beauty but also for beer, chocolates and chips. I had a few chips from a few different local chip shops and each one of them claimed they were the ones who invented the beauty of chips frying. I do have to say they do taste better in Belgium than anywhere else. Want to know the secret? Fry them in animal fat not vegetable oil.
Bruges offers a lot of souvenir shopping. There is a lot of cheap stuff from China on offer but those types of souvenirs are easy to recognize and in my opinion best to avoid. All you have to do is keep looking: into a small sideways streets. You will be surprised. Walk out of the town center and you will find some top of the range modern boutiques mixed with quirky handmade stuff. You just have to look. One of my favorite recent buys is from Bruges and it comes from this lovely shop.
As we really didn’t plan this trip we didn’t realized we came in the peak time of Queens day/week celebrations. Bank holidays in Bruges are best to be avoided as most of the streets are full of not just tourists but locals too. Being a foodie as I am, it annoyed me not being able to sit and eat in that nice square,in that nice restaurant. Settling down for a cheap takeaway pizza really isn’t my way of fun but hey I was in Bruges and there was plenty of chocolates around.
P.S. Log in soon for p.t two