A Day in Bruges

Brugge Travel Blog

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Booked the mini-cruise through P&O and at £66 it was good value, but as a Buy One, Get One Free, it was marvellous value. Coughed up an extra fiver for a cabin with a view. Boy, I know how to live it up! Paid in advance for the meals (2x breakfast and 2x evening meal) which brought the total total to about £150. As expected the cabin was 'cosy'. 2 bunks and 2 coat hangers and not a lot else. The cabin was of a size where where cat swinging would have resulted in injury to both cat and swinger and toweling down after a shower (top marks here- hot and fiesty!) needed a degree of care to avoid bruised elbows, but as this wasn't a cruise, who really cares? There was a decent enough selection of bars and a cinema or two to while away the evening.
There was a coach from Zeebrugge to Bruges and the journey was about 20 mins, and given the rantings of the fascist in the seat in front, that was long enough.
Just so grateful I didn't have to sit opposite him for the journey or I think I'd have had 1st hand experience of the Belgian judicial service.
I was told that the previous few days had been blissfully warm. Things turned with a vengence! It was misty and freezing, but hey ho! All part of the joys of visiting northern europe in February.
We had no plan at all apart from visiting one bar that had been recomended, the Staminee de Garre I loved it, but read reviews here.   Bruges is described as the 'Venice of the north' and it does have its fair share of water, but if you're expecting Venice, then it isn't. But that's not a criticism, it's  just the water/street ratio is different. Speaking of the streets, many are cobbled which catch heels with regularity, so ladies.
.. flat shoes are advised unless you want to keep losing your footwear.
We quite liked just pottering round and discovering a shop that sold a wonderful selection of Belgian beers and the associated glasses to drink them from. See what other thought here. If I were to go again, and I probably will, I'd have more of a plan and take in a museum or a trip up the Campanile, but with a mist restricing visibility to 50 metres, it didn't seem worth climbing 366 steps, even though it's a leap year.
We declined the option of a boat trip along the canals as we both felt we needed to keep moving to avoid seizing up, but it looked like an option for a warmer day.
The Minnewater area is a delighful stroll along the canals/lakes and there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments.

I'm sure there must be some modern buildings in the city, but if there are, none of them stuck in the memory because of all the wonderful old architecture that stands out.
All in all, I found Bruges a pleasant little outing. Not sure if I'd like to spend more than a couple of days here at any one time, but it's worth a repeat visit and some fellow travellers on the ferry opted to go to Ostend for the day. Better retail therapy, it seems. Bruges was fine for me. There's a limit as to how much beer and chocolate one can carry!
One of my pet hates is us 'Brits abroad' who think that the world ought to speak English and if you can't be understood, shout louder at Johnny Foreigner. Well, I tried to use my few phrases of Flemish gleaned from the BBC site, but I guess they weren't up to scratch because the locals' English sure was better than my Flemish. Still, I tried.
Tot ziens, as they say!
sylviandavid says:
This is really informative and fun. I like how you keep optimistic... and have a good time but still see that next time you might do something different.. more reseach.
Posted on: Feb 16, 2008
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Hardly worth the 366 stair climb f…
Hardly worth the 366 stair climb …
Brugge Nightlife & Entertainment review
This bar was recommended to me as something different from the majority. I'm not sure you'd bump into it unless you're curious about narrow alleyways… read entire review
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photo by: Chokk