If you read my last post you’ll know I’m useless with accommodation, which is how I ended up here. It’s summer in Europe, and also the weekend. I had all intentions to dress in my finest pounding the pavements of Antwerp, and ode to the Antwerp 6 (fashion reference, sorry) but the only place in Belgium with accommodation (I could afford) lay in Bruges, an unknown (to me) small city that isn’t Brussels, Luxembourg or Antwerp. What Bruges is; the most breathtakingly beautiful place you could find yourself. From the hoards of tourists I gather it’s pretty well known, yet isn’t a part of the traditional Europe holiday when it should be in the top 5. What’s the fuss about this place?
Everything has a place here, and it all works together perfectly, the varying houses, huge cathedrals, cobblestone paths, canals and the array of parks and gardens, wherever you find/lose yourself will be undeniably breathtaking, and honestly the best way to explore this place is sans map wandering; it’s a very walkable city.
The beer/the chocolate/the fries/the waffles (aka weight gain) is everywhere. About half this city has to be beer and chocolate stores, and most of them are pretty delicious. Highly recommended is a tour of the local (and only inner city remaining) brewery, Halve Maan, which for your entry of 8 euro incorporates a pretty decent roof view of the city and a (more than) pretty decent unfiltered, straight from the tank beer. I can’t say that I now have a great understanding in the Belgium style of having a different shaped glass for every beer but I do have a pretty high opinion of their beer, it’s all good, strong, cheap and the hole in the wall and underground bars where you find it are charming.
Don’t be fooled though, this city does have some downers, there are people everywhere, and honestly there is nothing more infuriating than having to negotiate people taking (less than fabulous) photos (on auto mode on their SLR’s), you do feel like you’re less in a small European city and more in a Disney tourist attraction but that said, there is a beautiful hum that comes with this, and it’s not a senseless tourist crowd, everyone is wowed by the city and trying to soak up all the beauty (and beer) that it has to offer. It’s an excitement about the place and the every friendly locals that raise this place up.