Just before Christmas we took a (child-free) trip to Bruges. It’s somewhere that had been on my list of places to go for a while but we’d just never got around to organising it. We booked it way back last April and were really looking forward to it for months – until the terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent lockdown in Brussels occurred. We considered cancelling the trip however a few weeks later by the time we were due to travel, things had got a bit more back to normal. Still a Level 3 threat but that’s the same as the UK so there was no need to be overly cautious. I was glad that we did make the trip – the owner of the B&B we stayed at told me that people had really suffered in places like Bruges because of hundreds of cancelled coach trips. I imagine in a town like Bruges many people rely on tourism so are pretty affected when things like this happen. Bruges is far enough from Brussels (an hourand a half on the train) but we did have to travel via Brussels airport and train station. Have to say, we didn’t notice any extra security but I am sure it was there.
Anyhow, enough doom and gloom. So Bruges. I won’t lie, I mainly got the desire to go after seeing that film – which is still up there as one of my favourites. We flew with Brussels Airlines which was ok and then caught a train from the station at the airport direct to Bruges, which was a nice relaxing journey through the Belgian countryside. Once there, we walked through the cobbled streets to our B&B (The Townhouse – which I cannot recommend enough!) with the help of Google Maps. It couldn’t have been easier. Our B&B really was lovely, the owner was so welcoming and the breakfast – all three courses of it – was to die for. Fresh fruit to start, followed by yoghurt with a compote and then your choice of smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, omelette or eggs & bacon served with fresh juice, tea/coffee and an assortment of delicious breads and cake. Wow. It really set you up for the day!
We didn’t really have a plan, we just wanted to wander around for a few days and soak it up, whilst eating lots of food and drinking lots of wine. Gluhwein my case. And what a lovely place it was for that. If you’ve never been to Bruges – go. It’s just about the most loveliest place to mooch around, and way bigger than you think. Lots of gorgeous little streets to meander through, something to look at around every corner and of course, there’s the Belfry to climb up.
Yep, that was pretty much my response. I don’t really do towers. I’m more of a sit-at-the-bottom-and-wait-for-everyone-else kind of girl but this time I gave in as the kids weren’t there to chaperone Mr M. It’s not the climbing up the tower, or the height, it’s the claustrophobic nature of stairwells. If there’s a separate up and down like at Warwick Castle or the Statue of Liberty I am game but if I have to go up a narrow staircase where people are also coming down, well, I’m not loving it.
I could witter on about the loveliness of Bruges for all eternity, it was even lovelier all decked out for Christmas – I will definitely be returning at some point with the children. It felt so clean and safe. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a city or large town where I have felt so safe wandering around every part of it. In the interest of not making this post any longer than it needs to be – I’ll leave you with a few more photos of this enchanting place but do book a trip soon!