Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Weekend in Bruges

On the penultimate Friday of November we took an impulsive trip to Bruges. I say impulsive because generally, once we’re back from one holiday we have to plan another, and our last was in June. This trip however, was booked in October, and executed in such a casual fashion that I’m surprised my usual, methodical self could bear it. We even agreed to get the agonisingly slow London Midland train down to the capital on our way there. That’s precisely how laid back it was. 

Since my boyfriend and I became an item, I can safely say I’ve already seen more of the world than I ever did in my previous twenty one years. Mark is fairly well travelled and has seen a lot of the continent, so when it comes to these mini-trips to places he’s already been, it’s very handy. It means he can edit the itinerary according to the must-sees, scratching out the could-sees, and leaving plenty of time for dinner.

We arrived on the Friday afternoon after an early start, alighting finally at Station Brugge. Mark had the unfortunate task of lugging our case into the centre on the city, which is practically entirely cobbled, as you would hope a medieval town would be. Historic city centres with bell towers, squares, coloured buildings and cobbled streets seem to have become our thing. You can keep your sandy beaches, sun tans and trance music, thanks.

City Hall on the Burg square
The incredible gothic chamber inside City Hall

View from the belfy over-looking the Markt

Over our short two and a half day stay we pretty much walked every street in the historic centre. It's important to me to feel like I've really seen a place, because you never know if you'll get to visit again. We ensured that we climbed the bell tower, visited the town hall, and took plenty of pictures of buildings and bridges along the way.

The Chocolate Line - where the magic happens

Mark and I don't go a day without some sort of sweet treat or another. Whenever we go somewhere - even if it's a trip into town or to a neighbouring city - we've got to get treats. Thems the rules. It's never cheap, and it's never attractive when you've got chocolate and crumbs all round your chops, but it's always worth it. If this was a more frequent, perhaps lifestyle-y blog, I would definitely create an index for all the excellent chocolate and patisserie we're enjoyed over time.

The Chocolate Line is on the Markt square in the centre of bruges. There are so many weird and wonderful flavours to choose from, including the likes of bacon, fried onion, and curry chocolates (which of course we tried - really good, not even kidding). If you love good chocolate and you're ever in Bruges, you must stop here.

Another place that you definitely must visit if you're ever in Bruges, is 2be. It encompasses both a bar, with a romantic terrace that sits on the water's edge, and a shop full of the best belgian beers, foods and Tin Tin merchandise. What's not to like?

Our favourite moustachioed Belgian, on a mug

I'll leave you with a few random snaps and captions because I'm awful at structuring these photo-heavy posts. I've already done my next travel illustration, which you may or may not have already seen. Expect a post on that very soon.

Godshuizen (Almshouses)

De Halve Maan (Half Moon) Brewery is the only active family brewery left in the centre of Bruges
't Poatersgat (Monks Hole) - a cool cellar bar with great trapist beers and a kooky 80s playlist

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