Arrival into Bruges

Brugge Travel Blog

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A statue greets you as you walk from the Bruges station to the city

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 boat taking us to Damme

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.

I caught the 10am train, reached Bruges by about 1130a and was all set to begin my conquest of the place by noon. The walk from the railway station infact is nice - you pass by a lovely statue with tulips, you can see that this is a very busy residential and tourist place from the get-go.

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

Vikram says:
LOL - we were on our resp. scheduled time. Oh lucky indeed!
Posted on: May 15, 2009
YantiSoeparno says:
You stayed with 5 girls ;-) hmmm... were you in a good luck? ;D

Btw, were the girls too early or were you too late? :P
Posted on: May 15, 2009
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En route to Damme - it's very flat and agricultural and nice...!

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.

View of the canal leading up to Damme
Yep, the same centre with those lovely toy buildings, and the same tower frm which Colin's friend falls to death in "In Bruges". You really have to see it to believe it. I was thrilled when I saw the "Le Panier D'Or" building especially. That one features in every travel book. I couldn't believe I was actually standing in front of it. I spent the whole evening walking around but it wasn't enough! I went back to my hostel, my roommate was some 82 yr old kooky American lady (she's been living in Europe for 50 years and seem to crib about every country, LOL!), said my hello's (cursed myself for my bad luck) and walked straight back into town. The problem (blessing?) is that the sun sets really late. So I had to wait till 1030pm for it to get dark, for me to take some really good pictures of the place. By joe it's worth it. This city's worth it . it's lovely! And that moment I stood in front of the Belfry Tower (from behind) shooting the night time version of the Frommer's picture, it was one of those moments! Overall lovely town. I was so glad I decided to spend three nights in here!

A statue greets you as you walk fr…
A statue greets you as you walk f…
The boat taking us to Damme
The boat taking us to Damme
En route to Damme - its very flat…
En route to Damme - it's very fla…
View of the canal leading up to Da…
View of the canal leading up to D…
Damme arrives - you can spot the S…
Damme arrives - you can spot the …
The Schellemolen (windmill)
The Schellemolen (windmill)
About to alight the boat
About to alight the boat
One of the few gates remaining in …
One of the few gates remaining in…
In the Berg
In the Berg
Stadhius
Stadhius
Bruges seems famous for its lacewo…
Bruges seems famous for its lacew…
How can anyone miss this! At the M…
How can anyone miss this! At the …
Playing with my photographic talent
Playing with my photographic talent
the Markt
the Markt
Bruges pride, the Belfry Tower
Bruges' pride, the Belfry Tower
Close up of the Belfry
Close up of the Belfry
Call me a sucker for dem Kodak Mom…
Call me a sucker for dem Kodak Mo…
And the same Markt by night, looks…
And the same Markt by night, look…
The night version of the shot on…
The "night" version of the shot o…
Belfry by night
Belfry by night
Gotta love those cobbled pavements
Gotta love those cobbled pavements
Brugge
photo by: Chokk