Having heard about the magic of Bruges by a lot of travelers, we couldn’t miss out on the chance of seeing the city with our own eyes. You may recall from our days in Brussels (read about here) that it was raining a lot. We were finally starting to get wise, checking the weather forecast before leaving, and saw that the rains in Bruges were not supposed to start until about 10:00am. Somehow, we managed to haul our very jetlagged selves out of bed extra early, for a vacation that is, and catch the 7:00am train to Bruges. The train is direct and only about an hour, just enough time to catch a few more zzz’s before exploring for the day.
One of the benefits of getting up early, was that the town was still primarily asleep. As we made our way from the train station in Bruges to the city center, we had the entire streets to ourselves and could take as many pictures as we wanted without any pesky tourists getting in the way. On the main square in the center, the vendors at the farmer’s market were only just starting to set up and the big tour buses haven’t arrived yet.
Bruges is famous for both its canals and for being one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Europe. We had high expectations and we loved the architecture and canals. The city truly gives off a historic feel and we enjoyed wandering around the cobblestone streets.
The Belgians really love their doors and door knobs.
Right on cue, the rains began around 10:00am and so we took shelter in our new favourite coffee shop chain, Le Pain Quotidien. The quaint restaurant was set up in a typical Belgian brick building, decorated with rustic wood furniture, bows and flowers.
Bettina couldn’t resist the turmeric latte and the smoked salmon and egg breakfast, while I was still working on my pain au chocolat fix.
After a bit of window shopping (and real shopping for Bettina) we had passed by our day in Bruges.
It is a great little city that you can easily spend a day or two wandering the streets and stepping back in time. We appreciated the early morning the best as it was quiet and uninterrupted, while the city seemed to fill with tourists later in the day, and this was on a rainy day in March!
In short, we were blown away by Bruges and will definitely be back!
What about these ones?