A couple of weeks ago, myself and Ryan headed to Brugge for a few days to do a bit of exploring. Brugge is located in Belgium, about an hour away from the capital, Brussels. We managed to find a pretty good deal on the Eurostar, and opted for travelling over by train in the early hours of Friday morning, instead of flying (my least favourite method of transport). I loved getting the train to Brugge. Although it takes slightly longer to get there, you don't have to go through all the hassle of passport and baggage control beforehand (there's some, but not nearly as much) which made the whole trip that much less stressful. I also loved the scenery that the train allowed us to see as it whizzed through the Belgian countryside.

Arriving in Brugge, we headed to our apartment which we soon discovered was located just a two minute walk from the main square. Our room was another highlight of the trip for me. White walls, wooden floors and furnishings, high ceilings, and a sky light in the bedroom which the steeple of St John's Hospital peeked through. It was truly beautiful (and an Instagram dream). This would be our base for the weekend, where we could watch as many episodes of Family Guy as we liked (it was literally all that was ever on over there), and cook up a storm in our tiny kitchenette. Not a bad place to call home for a couple of days.

Ryan and I didn't really know what to expect of Brugge. Although I'd done some research on the best spots to eat, and the sights to see, I knew that the city was small enough for us to leave most of the exploring until we actually arrived. I didn't particularly have any good or bad expectations for what the city would be like, but within a couple of days of walking around it's cobbled streets and staring up at it's Gothic buildings, I had fallen completely in love. Everywhere you look in Brugge, something beautiful catches your eye. Horse drawn carriages pass by whisking wide eyed tourists along the bridges, the canal glimmers as people float by on boat tours, tiny chocolate shops and tea rooms with sloping and intricate roofs line the streets, filling the city with warm and sweet smells. As Harry Waters says, "it's a fairytale f*cking town".

We spent the majority of our time in Brugge wandering around the main square in the old town. We spent day one getting our bearings around the city. The street that our apartment block was on was a little cobbled one, lined with low roofed chocolate shops and tea rooms serving hot chocolates and waffles. We wandered down this street on the first day, lusting over the hundreds of varieties of Belgian chocolates that we were soon to be filling our suitcases with. We also found a gorgeous little tea room to sit in and taste our first Belgian waffles. I'll be doing a separate blog post about all the food we ate in Brugge soon, but I will say that these were equally the most sickly, and amazing waffles I have ever tasted.

Day two in the city was our main day of exploring. We spent hours walking around the square and all the streets which sprawled off of it. Brugge is absolutely bursting with interesting museums for just a small amount of money, so we decided to head to St John's Hospital to have a look around. The hospital is one of Europe's oldest standing buildings, and was used in the middle ages to care for sick travelers and refugees. The hospital is now a museum which showcases the medicines and tools that were used to cure people hundreds of years ago. Super interesting if you're into that sort of thing, however, part of me wishes we had chosen the chocolate museum or beer museum over this one!

On day three, we decided to take a trip up the winding steps of the bell tower, the tallest building in the city, which looks over the main square and beyond. After queuing for around forty minutes to actually enter the tower, we were ready to start the 366 step climb to the top. The further we got to the top of the tower, the narrower the winding staircase got. With only a fraying rope to hold on to, it was a scary climb, especially when our path crossed with people trying to make their way down the extremely narrow staircase. Much of the climb was spent pressed to the walls, trying to maneuver our way up without falling down. However, once we reached the top, the view was completely worth it. A tiny river snaking through hundreds of terracotta roofs, and a square filled with tiny lego tourists. I'd have stayed up there forever if it wasn't absolutely freezing!

Any free time we had over the weekend was spent shopping for chocolate (we bought a lot), sitting in tea rooms, or watching the world go by from the square. Brugge is a city I would definitely recommend visiting. It's a beautiful and friendly place, which isn't nearly as busy as any of the other European cities I've been to, making it that much nicer to walk around. It's a great place to visit in the winter, and I'm secretly hoping to get back there one summer to see what some sunshine will add to the sleepy city.

1 comment :

  1. This looks amazing Lauren! You had me at chocolate shops ;)