Belgium, Travel
Comments 5

Bruges

Our last stop in Belgium was in the fairytale city of Bruges. I have been hearing about Bruges for many years, as it is among my parents top favourite European cities. They are lucky to have travelled quite a lot throughout western Europe, and they always talk about Bruges with stars in their eyes. So naturally I was pretty excited to see what the hype was all about.

Danica loved the stepped roofs of the buildings here.

Danica loved the stepped rooflines of the buildings here.

This tree was showing off it's autumn leaves, next to an ancient bridge over the canal.

This tree was showing off it’s autumn leaves, next to an ancient bridge over the canal.

We arrived late afternoon, and after dropping into our AirBnB just outside town we made our way into the centre. We were charmed rather quickly by the gorgeous stone and brick buildings (nope, not tired of the ancient European beauty just yet!) and we wandered around for a while until dinner time, taking it all in.

Giddy kiddos checking out the window of one of many gourmet chocolate shoppes.

Giddy kiddos checking out the window of one of many gourmet chocolate shoppes.

Magical windows in this German Christmas shop.

Magical windows in this German Christmas shop.

After a delicious dinner in a lively Irish pub, we made our way back through town towards the canals. I have to admit, upon first glimpse of those tranquil waterways, I gasped! Even though we had just been in Amsterdam, there was a different quality to the canals here. It could be that it was now after dark, and the hustle and bustle had made way for a quiet, still evening. We could hardly wait to get back the next morning and have a proper look around.

A nighttime stroll along the canal was very peaceful, in stark contrast to the busy daytime scene!

A nighttime stroll along the canal was very peaceful, in stark contrast to the busy daytime scene!

The next morning, we got into town early, and spent a really full day walking, exploring, and enjoying Bruges. What an incredible place! So small yet full of life. Yes, it is touristy, but my goodness is it ever lovely. We could easily have spent a couple more days there, even with the mostly grey skies. I think we would definitely come back again some day.

Yep, more charming colourful buildings in Grote Markt.

Yep, more charming colourful buildings in Grote Markt.

Even the ice cream trucks are charming in Bruges, unsurprisingly!

Even the ice cream trucks are charming in Bruges, unsurprisingly!

Of course we had ice cream in the middle of October! Kids in Grote Markt.

Of course we had ice cream in the middle of October! Kids in Grote Markt.

Highlights from the day were definitely beer tastings, a charming canal boat ride, warm waffles and incredible chocolate, and the clip-clop of horse hooves throughout the day and night! Here are some more of my favourite Bruges pics.

Another gorgeous view of the canals. The little patio you can see on the left is where we had our beer tasting.

Another gorgeous view of the canals. The little patio you can see on the left is where we had our beer tasting.

Requisite beer tasting, at 2be. Home of the Belgian wall of beer!

Requisite beer tasting, at 2be. Home of the Belgian wall of beer!

The beer wall.

The beer wall. Derek was one happy guy, surrounded by delicious belgian beer!

Just a couple of the bajillion swans who inhabit this canal.

Just a couple of the bajillion swans who inhabit this canal.

The statue of painter Jan Van Eyck at the end of a canal.

You can just see the statue of painter Jan Van Eyck in the square at the end of this canal.

The little red turrets at the top of this building are where the carrier pigeons delivered their notes!

The little red turrets at the top of this brick building are where the carrier pigeons delivered their notes!

Another view of the carrier pigeons' destination.

View from the water of the carrier pigeons’ destination.

Danica marvelling at the beauty around every corner.

Danica marvelling at the beauty around every corner.

A little mama-daughter time while the boys visited the museum.

A little mama-daughter time while the boys visited the museum.

Oli really loved seeing Madonna and Child, he couldn't get over how real they looked!

Oli really loved seeing Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child, he couldn’t get over how real it looked!

And more beer, as you do in Bruges. This time at de Halve Maan brewery (Half Moon).

And more beer, as you do in Bruges. This time at de Halve Maan brewery (Half Moon).

We have spent a good deal of time exploring touristy spots in western France, and now Belgium and Holland. It may seem strange to some that we keep sticking to these big busy spots, but as first timers in Europe, there is just so much we have heard about for so long and we are really yearning to see it all. We’ve popped into small towns here and there as well, but seeing these famous places we’ve only ever heard and read about, there’s just something pretty amazing about it. The novelty has not yet worn off, and I don’t expect it to!

Gorgeous autumn colours on Minnewater Lake, aka the Lake of Love.

Gorgeous autumn colours on Minnewater Lake, aka the Lake of Love.

Can you tell that these two loved Bruges?

Can you tell that these two loved Bruges?

A rare shot of Derek and I -- thanks Oli!

A rare shot of Derek and I together — thanks Oli!

I have a little catching up to do here. I was laid up for almost a week with some back spasms (old chronic issues) and the kids have been busy with school, friends, sports. Life is still life, even in charming Loches. We’ve visited a few more châteaux, and celebrated a quiet french Hallowe’en. I’ll be back this weekend with more updates!

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5 Comments

  1. Graham Nixon says

    We loved reliving our time in Bruges through your eyes! You clearly “get” why it’s one of our favourites. We love how the kids continue to embrace this year long adventure. You are giving them a gift that they’ll never forget.

    Like

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