Thursday, March 12, 2015

Brussels; Chilling in Bruges

Hey guys! On my third day in Brussels I decided to hop on a train to chill in Bruges for a few hours. My host was telling me it was a lovely place to visit. Besides, the weather that day was wonderful.

So I bought a train ticket at the Central Station. As soon as you're out of Brussels, everything is announced in Flemish (or Dutch). So on your way back to the airport make sure you know the word for airport in Flemish!

So I got off at Bruges, having no clue where to go because I actually had no map with me. Whenever I would see a map I would take a mental picture of it. Soon enough I spotted the water and the largest public place so I would know where I was.

As I was walking further off the train station and into the old town I found myself in a fortified dense small city. Pictures!


One of the first things that caught my eye was a wall which top was covered in broken glass bottles bottoms. I don't know what was on the other side but for sure I wouldn't try at night!




Obviously given the look of the city some people were being given tours on horse carriages. I found this horse fountain pretty cute.


As I walked furthur into the little city I realized it was packed with tourists (it wasn't even noon yet) and shops for tourists and restaurants for tourists ... I wonder if people actually live there.

On my way to the Market Place I stopped in a friterie where I had Belgian fries made right in front of me and which were much better than the ones I had in Brussels. They were also quite hot so I burned my tongue while walking and admiring the landscape.


Soon enough I found the Market Place, or Grote Markt. This lovely place is surrounded by restaurants, the Historium Bruge, the Belfort, and so on. Unfortunately, unlike Brussels's Grand Place, it's not closed to motorized vehicules. Seeing all those people walking around I didn't really pay attention so I almost got run over a few times.






Look at this! Tell me it ain't lovely! This particular shape is known to be typical to Bruges. About half of the postcards and magnest sold in souvenirs shops feature those symetrical colorfur facades.



I was tempted to buy something to eat but I didn't feel like walking around with food. My camera was bothering me enough already. Besides I had just had fries.



Why am I showing you this scary fountain? Why does this scary fountain even exist to start with?


As I was getting out of the Market Place and going wherever my feet were taking me, I spotted this cool looking narrow building that is a hair salon ... that also does bike rental! How great is that?

Less than a block away from the Market Place is Brug, another public place, this one surrounded by the Basilica of the Holy Blood, the Brugse Vrije, and the Stadhuis.





I sort of got fed up of being surrounded by tourists so I looked for the river on a map and started following it.



The river is often interrupted by either lovely stone bridges or wood and steel bridges, adding a nice modern twist to this medieval town. Just like in Strasbourg, some house entrances were almost directly in the water. How jealous I am of those who live in there!

After a long walk by the river, getting a bit lost, seeing more churches, and buying a champagne Magnum bar in a convenience store, I started walking more or less towards the Minnewater park, not far from the train station.




Loook! Lace!

As I kept walking and walking I had no clue what were the things I was seeing. All I know is I walked by more and more tourists. There were a lot of groups with their guides walking around with flags to identify themselves. All I know is as soon as I would see some kind of opening off of the street I would just venture myself in there.





At some point I got to the river on the East side so I walked alongside it until I found Minnewaterpark.



I crossed the little bridge until the train station was in sight. Not wanting to go back just yet I headed North, coming across the Koning Albert I Park and the Concertgebouw. I crossed the river again, this time on the West side, via the street Smedenstraat.



After having seen enough of Bruges I headed back to the train station. I was dead tired and my feet were giving up. Lucky enough a train was arriving soon. I slept on my way back to Brussels with the ticket right in my hand, I guess the controler didn't bother waking me up to ask for it.

And so that's it for today guys! Bruges is lovely, but I swear after a few minutes you're already pretty tired of it. Still I think it's worth it to spend a few hours there with some friends. Grab some stuffs at the market and find a spot by the river, you'll get yourself the perfect picnic.

Until next time!

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