Monday, 12 November 2012

Scenes From Bruges

Beer, chocolate and waffles. All of the reviews I read about Bruges were not a joke! The city was perfectly romantic and charming...full of little streets, canals, chocolate shops and lovely restaurants. We went last Saturday for a quick two day trip and it was just the right amount of time to make sure we experienced all it has to offer (it's a tiny place!). When we arrived via Eurostar, we went straight to the main square and walked around, admiring the traditional, colourful architecture. There are crepe stands and chocolate shops at literally every turn...I can't even count the amount of waffles we had...they were so good! 

After a quick panini lunch overlooking the canals where all the tourist boats go by, we headed over to Henri Maes Brewery. This is the only and oldest brewery still operating in Bruges and there's always a line to get in. It's only about 4 to get in so it was worth it for an hour-long tour and a free glass of refreshing beer. The brewery walk is so narrow but once you reach the top, there's a fabulous view of the whole city. After the tour we walked along Lover's  Lake which is actually part of the main canal...very romantic! Then we made our way back through the winding streets to relax at the hotel before a Belgian feast. I'd read about a cool beer bar in the centre of town called Brugs Beertje, so we popped in for some pre-dinner ale...blonde ale for me, amber ale for Jim, both from Henri Maes where we went earlier in the day. The night carried on at Pieter Pourbus, a traditional Belgian restaurant, where we had fresh fish dishes. 

On Sunday we did a bit more sight-seeing after a waffle breakfast at our favourite stand (it's just off Market Square near Belfort). Our first stop was a boat ride on the canal...and unfortunately the weather had turned so we had to do this in the rain! Nothing like umbrellas on a boat. I still loved seeing everything from the water and making sense of the city layout. We walked around the city for a bit, wandering around the canals and checking out the neighbourhoods in the rain (pretty but freezing!). Belfort was next and despite the long queue, it was well worth it. It's a 360 degree view of the entire city and you can even see the ocean from one side. We ended the day with a long lunch De Gastro, a cosy restaurant right near the fish market. Bruges is well-known for their mussels and chips (french fries), and theirs did not disappoint. I had a delicious wine, Jim enjoyed more Henri Maes beer, and we stayed for a while just chatting and watching the city pass by outside. 

I promise you'll love Brugges if you get the chance to visit! 

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