As your train pulls into the Bruges station, you dont feel excited, you feel as if it is just another small european city.
A large open space greets you as you step out of the station. In our case, it was a thursday morning and hence the space was almost devoid of people. You begin to wonder whether tourists really visit the city or not!
It all starts coming together when you cross the street, dragging your luggage on the cobbled streets on your way to the Lake of Love.
You slowly begin to realise the silence, the tranquility, the peace, the cleanliness that you are surrounded by. It is an amazing experience.
You then start admiring all the little lanes, bridges, the canals, cobbled roads, buildings, architecture and once again the peace and quiteness of the place. There is rich design almost everywhere. Check out the door handles and the hinges of the front doors of the houses you pass. They are full of character.
You feel as if you have been taken back in time. It is absolutely magical.
The entire city is surrounded by a canal. It is full of small roads so there isn't a lot of traffic (except weekends that is)
If it is historical museums and churches you are after then you are spoilt for choice. If it is just liesure and relaxation then again your are bang on target and that is exactly what we did.
Thanks to the tranquility, you forget your office and your daily grid.
We simply walked the city on the first day, taking in the breathtaking architecture, digging into chocolates from time to time. You are spoilt for choice again for restaurents and cafes, the city os full of them. In fact on thursday, when there were very few tourists we were wondering how the hotels do their business?! We got he answer on Saturday when the city was full of people!
Anyway, DUMON is the shop to go for chocolates. Their chocolates are out of this planet.
Another cafe worth mentioning is MEDARD, very very inexpensive and very nice. Most meusems were half closed for renovation but it didn't affect us. There is grand design, architecture everywhere you look so the entire city is one big museum
The second day, we hired cycles and went on the trip to see the windmills. It was a clear sunny day and the ride was a treat. You may get sore by the end of the day though. Again, food was the main agenda.
The third day was the saturday and thats when the peace and quite was gone. A lot of people descended on the city jamming the roads in some cases. I remember waiting in a chocolate shop for 30 mins before being served, however, the lady kept us busy by offering some free chocolates. How nice. That is the other thing about Bruges: friendly people. All of them.
All in all, it was a dream break. A lovely little city which will remain in our hearts for years to come.