In Bruges

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Back in December last year (jeez how weird does that sound?!), I managed a little daytrip to the Belgium. That's right folks: my vagabond bonnet is well and truly on my head. Whilst I could probably do the whole of Belgium in an entire day, I stuck to Bruges and Bruges alone and with good reason: this town really is something else entirely. If you want to visit a European city that really feels preserved and well-looked-after and get around it in less than a day, then Bruges is your place. Sometimes I feel like I could say this about every single place I travel to, but Bruges literally is one of the most beautiful places I have ever, ever been to. And I've been told a million times not to exaggerate.

The entire purpose of my trip was to check out the Christmas markets with a friend and a friend of said friend. I can imagine that the pedestrianised, cobbled streets look of Bruges is appealing throughout the year but I get the impression that at Christmastime, Bruges is even more picturesque than usual, coming to life with both crowds and outstanding decoration.

Without being clich├ęd, if you are going to go to Bruges, you simply must overindulge in everything bad for you. Namely chocolate in solid or liquid form, and waffles. Our visit to The Old Chocolate House on Mariastraat satisfied all those niggling little cravings in that category - and the bold claim to have 'the best hot chocolate in the world' certainly wasn't overexaggerated in the slightest! For around 9€ each you could have a gargantuan waffle with your choice of chocolate sauce or whipped cream plus sugar galore, plus a soup-bowl sized bowl of steaming hot milk in which you could melt a selection of chocolates to create your most perfect beverage.

Speaking of beverages, you most definitely cannot visit Belgium without sinking down a cool glass of Belgian beer. The aptly named Beer Wall Bar on Wollestraat is absolutely the place to satisfy such a thirst - with a choice of over 1,000 beers. No lie! The bar inside has a few seats and an eye-catching wall assembled out of beer crates but the place to be sat whilst you enjoy your drink is in the beer garden alongside the canal. Simply stunning.

My friend Debs and me shared (yeah, pennies were running low by the end of the day) a glass of Brugse Zot straight from the tap. This blonde beer was absolutely gorgeous and I already have a want to head to the nearest Belgo bar just to hunt it down. Divine stuff.

Whilst it looks pretty cracking in the daylight, Bruges really comes to life at night in an awe-inspiring, retina-pleasuring way. Especially alongside the canals! I could wax lyrical about the wonders of city-breaking at night and how Bruges was such a delight in this respect but I don't think I need to say anymore whatsoever. Just gawp at those photos and imagine that I'm still doing that, almost a month after my trip. Because I am. Forever longing for Bruges since 2012. IDST.

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