Fun fact, Bruges, or Brugge, comes from a Viking word for wharf. My dad is obsessed with vikings at the moment, so he definitely appreciated the fact when I told him.
Every guide, website, blog post, and book that I read about Bruges hailed it as something straight out of a Disney movie. Part of me was hesitant to be one of the many tourists to flock to the canals and picturesque houses that comprise Bruges, west of Brussels, but the promise of a city untouched by the bombs of the world wars was too much for this history nerd to resist.
I took a very full train from Brussels to Bruges, which took a little over an hour. Traveling by train is by far my favourite mode, as it is a relatively easy way to see the “in between” of a country… usually farmland or nature, but beautiful.
I started the day by taking a boat tour through the canals, as I had read it is the best way to see the city, but also to orient myself as to where I might want to explore further later in the afternoon.
After the boat tour, I found myself some frites, and began to wander. I was mesmerised by the architecture, the canals, just the way it looked. I could imagine people throughout history wandering the same streets, and it seemed amazing to me that this city was not destroyed, and I found myself so glad that it was spared.
In terms of sights seen, I visited the Bruges Madonna, a statue by Michelangelo and is one of the few Michelangelo sculptures outside Italy. I also went to the museum of fine arts in Bruges, and although they had a large portion of the museum closed, the old Flemish masters works on display were fantastic.
By late afternoon, I was tired and in need of a pick-me-up, so I went to The Old Chocolate House which had the BEST hot chocolate ever. They literally serve you a bowl of steaming hot milk with a cup of chocolate chips – although the cup is also made out of chocolate – and you pour the chocolate chips into the bowl and whisk it. It is the best. Seriously. I may have bought some to take home with me. It will probably not last that long. I would be surprised if it lasted until the end of November.
After some more wandering it was time to head back to Brussels, but I loved visiting Bruges, and next time I’m in Belgium I hope to spend some more time wandering and getting to know this magical little city a bit more.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
À la prochaine!