Arrival into Bruges
Brugge Travel Blog› entry 10 of 17 › view all entries
There are trips of mine that have been just about the touristy moments, and then there are trips that have *a* touristy moment, call it the dream part of the trip, and to me, that was Bruges. So it's nice that I saved the best for last, and I can safely say this place didn't disappoint. It's funny, I had no idea of this town until I started planning the trip, and then people said "Bruges" the minute I said Belgium, and some even pointed me to the Colin Farrell movie "In Bruges" to get a feel of the place. I did rent the DVD off of Netflix, and even tough Colin seems to hate the town in the movie, the visuals and everything else was spectacular. By FAR! It was the perfect European landscape one had imagined, only in a compact style and town. It seemed to have everything one looks for in the "cliched European holiday".
The other thing - for a town *this* small, it seemed to have a lot to do ranging from educational to plain cheesy and touristy. But it was all good. Most travel books say that you need a day in Bruges, the good ones say "spend a night to see the lights when the crowds have disappeared", and the really good travel books say "spend a couple of days here to get the feel". I chose the last, infact threw in 1/2 a day more and I'm so glad I did. To walk in this town again and again and again is worth it. Infact, this town redeemed my dying love for Belgium and to some extent, helped in my leaving with a good impression of the place.
I checked out of Bruxelles on a Wednesday morning, all my "roommates" were gone (those 5 Singapore girls!), and I was the only one there to get ready at my own pace.
The hostel I was staying at was another story altogether. Isn't it Murphy's Law when the Frommer's book has the street names of all the roads in the city except yours? Oops! And then you finally see it, it's narrow and blink-and-miss types. More to come in my review of the hostel.
Anyway, back the sightseeing: one of the places that I'd always wanted to go was Damme - a small idyllic town near Bruges. One can walk or bike it up, but I chose what the travel books say - take the slow ferry across the canal, and sit back and admire the view of the flat terrains of the Dutch part of Belgium. Reaching the ferry point was a nuisance to be honest, and I had to wait for an hour or so to catch the ferry. It showed up promptly at 130p, it's rather a basic ferry (LOL) which is there just to serve its purpose - take us to Damme. But this is a very inoffensive route, peaceful canal and always in the eye of civilisation.
Go to the next page for the Afternoon trip to idyllic Damme report
This entry picks up from the "Afternoon trip to idyllic Damme " entry
So, back to Bruges right for the sunset, and it was worth it. I love this town. To some extent, it reminded me of York, in that, you've got the big tower in the middle of town, it's kind of cool to lose yourself because you know you'll never get lost, and every road you walk on, you' re in for a surprise. It's either a brownstone house with a nicely designed door, a lovely cobbled pavement with flowers on the side, beautiful brick buildings lit up, or a canal. Yep, when you don't have anything else, you can always get a canal in Bruges!
The first stop I made that day was the centre - the Markt.