Bruges was the first medieval canal town that I had encountered, so naturally I was awed by it.
A train from Paris to Bruges would be too expensive for me, so I took a bus to Lille (France), stayed there for the night and took the earliest train to Bruges the next morning.
Sunrise view from the train to Bruges:
Arriving in Bruges:
I had found a discount at Hotel ‘t Putje in Bruges and booked it. Really good deal: the hotel was cute, situated at the animated t’Zand market and near the railway station, they also gave me a free copious breakfast the next day.
The view from my room’s window couldn’t be better, with red tile roofs filling the air as far as eyes could see.
I felt an urge to climb on those brick roofs and run like a court thief, but I restrained myself: I still had 2 days to go.
I went out into the t’Zand market for breakfast. The roast chicken stand was to die for.
From there I followed the winding alleys with Notre-Dame cathedral looming over.
I then took a boat tour on the canals. The boat guide introduced the scenery we were passing by in 3 different languages, it was fun but the switching between English, French and Spanish gave me a headache. At some point he (jokingly) offered to speak Chinese but luckily he wasn’t carried away by it. At the end of the tour, I tipped him some money for having kept it down to three.
The guide said that if the canal was frozen in the winter, they could ice-skate all the way from here to Holland. How convenient.
The flea market along the canal is another highlight. I love markets. Fish or wood, fruit or antique silverware, they all appeal to me. There were plenty of beautiful objects in this market.
Wise words from Plato:
I had waffles with cream and strawberries for lunch that day. I hadn’t remembered having waffles that good. Or chocolate. Myriad of chocolatiers with all kinds or shapes: chocolate skulls and witches (clearly for the upcoming Halloween), chocolate hammers, and at some point, chocolate boobs (looked so delicious!).
Bruges is famous for its lace making. The Lace Museum located in a quiet quarter, with many nice doors around.
There was a show of lace making in the museum at 14h. If you are there, look for the oldest lady: she has a lightning-fast speed of lacing. The other younger ladies, not so much. It was an interesting watch nonetheless.
A strange structure outside of the church:
I passed by De Garre but committed the mistake of not entering it to drink me away:
Some puppets were ready to return home after a hard day’s work:
I wanted to dine at Pomperlut as it got rave reviews, but the restaurant had been completed since 2 weeks.
So I chose another one, and ordered “Flemish beef stew”.
While I was eating, the chef came out of the kitchen to hear compliments from customers. I gave him some formal words, but I could have made a better stew.
After my dinner, the landscape had become so much calmer. Ancient buildings made dreamy reflections on the water in the dim evening light.
Next morning, I went out before 7am, ready to catch some sunrise over the spikes. The alley behind my hotel was still dark.
A chilly brume hung over sleepy bricks. The moon was still lingering on the citadel.
Nothing to disturb the water mirror…
… except some man who was arranging the first stand for the flea market.
A lonely barge waiting for the day.
It was a magical scene. I felt under Bruges’ spell at that moment. The sun didn’t rise, but I was already late for the train to Brussels and Waterloo.
WordPress has a very limited storage for blog pictures (it eats up 10% of my media space limits with just this post), so if you want these photos in the original size, here is my stock website: