Bruges, you beauty!
So, I was a bit nervous about sending our first born on his first ever school camping trip at age 11 (they start at as early as 4 years here in France :O) We figured the best way to keep ourselves from spending the entire weekend fretting about him was to take a little trip ourselves. :P Adeen was off to Buthiers with his class on Friday morning and the same night we drove to Bruges, Belgium after work. It was a comfortable 4 hour drive and we had a nice
on the periphery with an easy 10 minute walk to Bruges center.
Fountain Het Zand right outside the hotel.
When the cat is away the mouse shall play :D
We checked-in around 11 at night and after a stop free drive food was the only thing on our mind (when is it not?? :P) and we headed straight to the Market square as we were told that would be our only hope for dinner this late. On our walk to the center Bruges seemed a bit too quiet but, we were happy to see Market Square was totally alive this late at night mid October. The air was a bit nippy and the fire torches in the square made it just comfortable enough.
Market Square at night
The next day we woke up to a rainy morning in Bruges but, we were not going to let that stop us. We only had a day there after all and we were prepared thanks to weather.com :)
Just minutes into exploring Bruges, it was evident why it is called "Venice of the North." I do not like comparing cities as every place has something unique to offer. Bruges is definitely a blend of the charm of Venice (with all its canals) and the city like feel of Brussels. I actually think it is a much smaller, cleaner, less touristy, and more modern Belgian Venice. Some of you might remember seeing Bruges in the Bollywood film PK :P
Venice of the north
When it comes to Belgian food, I'll be honest, I am not a huge fan but, with Belgian Waffles and Belgian chocolates and Belgian Beer you should be fine. You'll find chocolatries and waffle houses at every corner in Bruges so good luck deciding which ones to try. If a trip to Belgium is not in your future plans, the popular Belgian chocolate chain Jeff de Bruges is a good place to try some (strangely, it is owned by a French guy :P) For waffles we definitely preferred the street vendor versions as opposed to restaurants and cafes. A warm, crispy waffle with lightly sprinkled powdered sugar is the ultimate companion for a walk around Bruges. It is also a good way to avoid eating bland Belgian food. :P
The Perfect Breakfast
- 2 Beer or not 2 Beer!?
Bruges is so close to the coast and knowing my husband we got to check out the beach at Blankenberge. It was certainly too cold for the beach in October but, the beach itself was really neat. If you happen to be in Bruges around Summer time, it is definitely something to consider especially if you are travelling with children. Aneeq had a nice time collecting seashells. :)
We had to head back early next morning to get back to Paris in time to pick up Adeen. We definitely missed him and knew how much he would have enjoyed those waffles so I decided to grab some to go for him early morning while the two boys were still in bed. The sights and sounds of that early morning walk, I will never forget. It was just so beautiful and tranquil. Luckily, I was able to record some of that to share it with you. Enjoy :)