On our way to Paris, (see my Paris blog here) we traveled through Belgium and visited the wonderful city that is Brugge (British call it Bruges, but Dutch say Brugge). There’s a lot more to this country than just waffles and chocolate and most definitely more than meets the eye.
Canals wind their way through this city, living up to its name of ‘Venice of the North’, and many tourists choose to see it from the water. However, we decided to wander the streets on foot and find the hidden treasures ourselves. We spent the day trekking around the old, historical inner city centre part of Brugge and only just scratched the surface. Everywhere you turn, something catches your eye. If you appreciate and enjoy architectural gems like myself, this city definitely needs to go on your list of places to visit.
If you’re a lover of the chocolate you’ll be in heaven. Belgium is obviously well known for its chocolate and if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. Brugge was full of people stood outside the numerous chocolate shops (me being one of them) drooling over the overwhelming choice. Pineapple, Lemon, Amaretto – you name it, 99% chance they’ll make it.
There’s so much to see and do in Brugge so without a doubt would appeal to people of all sorts of ages. Have a canal tour, visit a gallery, drool at all the chocolate shops, eat chocolate smothered waffles whilst people-watching (a favourite of mine), hire a bike, have a tour of Brugge in a horse drawn carriage – the list is endless.
If someone asked me to pick just one word to describe Brugge, I would have to say quaint. With cobbled streets and brightly painted houses, it’s like a British town with a Belgian twist. What I did notice whilst there though was everywhere was immaculate. The streets were clean and the buildings beautifully maintained – the locals are obviously very proud of where they live and I would be too if I were to call it my home.
It’s funny how a town with mostly cobbled streets, the majority of transport consists of bikes – definitely not two things you would put together as it probably would make for an uncomfortable ride. But that is one thing that I took from my trip to both Brugge & Paris. Bicycles seemed hugely popular with everyone. It’s maybe something that we could learn from, rather using our cars as transport for shorter journeys, why not use a bike? I agree with the fact that a lot of car drivers are inconsiderate and are not aware of cyclists so can be dangerous. But with cycle tracks and paths in most areas, what’s stopping us (me included)? I found a great website called CycleStreets, just type in your starting point & destination and it’ll tell you everything you need to know. Distance you’ll cover, time it’ll take, traffic lights you’ll encounter, which cycle tracks to take, what crossings to use, calories you’ll burn, and even CO2 emissions you’ve avoided, So if you are thinking of getting your dusty bike out the shed that hasn’t seen daylight in a long time, I really recommend this website as it gives you more confidence in where you’re going and the best routes to take.
Have you visited Brugge? Would you like to?
Let me know, I’d love to hear what have to say!
Have a great week –
Ciao for now