The extent of my knowledge about Bruges was that a movie with Colin Farrell had come out some years ago with the same name. No idea what it was about*, but when I got to Belgium and Kim was like, “I’m taking you to Bruges this weekend!” I was all in.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t been to a quintessentially old-school European city in over 10 years, or maybe it’s because I’m an adult now and see and appreciate things through a different perspective, or maybe it’s simple the magic of the city itself, but I was enamored with Bruges from the outset.
The myriad little alcoves and secret gardens overlooking the canals, the cobbled streets, the swans, and horse-drawn carriages, the little cafes and frites shops, the history of the place permeating the air, all drew me in and held me close, getting me excited about Life again.
We stopped at a brilliant find for a hot chocolate. I’m not talking your typical instant hot chocolate, oh no. This is gourmet to the max and well worth a visit as the entire experience is utterly charming. With dozens of hot chocolate variations from which to choose, you’ll only be disappointed that you can’t try them all in one afternoon! Seriously, look at how big that mug is!
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For €8 you can take a canal cruise – absolutely worthwhile if it’s a nice day. The guides provide good commentary, and I can’t describe how delightful it is to see Bruges from the water!
After the canal cruise, and still full from the hot chocolate, we meandered our way around on foot, discovering all sorts of fun places and generally just taking in the sites – a simple pleasure, but honestly one of my favorite things to do in a new place.
My afternoon in Bruges was, simply put, magical, and I look forward to returning there again.
*(I’ve since watched In Bruges, and while it starts out quite funny, it really gets dark at the end!)