Travel Lust: Bruges, Belgium

In the northwest of Belgium lies one of the most charming placed I have ever visited: Bruges. With its series of canals and gorgeous architecture, this city should make it to your next European vacation.

I was able to visit Bruge in high school as part of a school trip touring both France and Belgium. Our host, my French teacher, was a Belgian transplant- a darling and vivacious woman whom I still refer to as simply Madame.
Market Square
Madame was the perfect person to have  around because in Bruges, they speak not only French but also Flemish (Belgian Dutch). She was sure to teach us how to say, "I don't know" in Flemish and to follow up with "Do you speak French?".
A view of the Belfry from the canal
On an afternoon of free time, my mother and I took a baguette to a bridge over the canal to feed the swans. Shortly after we started throwing bread in the water, we had attracted over a dozen gorgeous birds- it was a spectacular sight!
After feeding the swans, we strolled down the cobblestone streets and were drawn into a coffee shop by its display of pastries- La Monnaie, I believe. This was no paper cup to go- they served each cup of coffee on its own silver tray with a small pitcher of cream, a couple of sugar cubes, and a cookie on small china plate. I searched everywhere for a coffee service like this when we got home; I never could find it.
Provinciaal Hof
If you want to beat the hustle and bustle of the big cities but still want history, art and charm- this is your place! Click here to see more photographs from the Bruges tourist site.

Photos from: wikipedia.com, trabel.com, chiskuzneski.com, cut-dry.blogtspot.com


Anonymous said...

If you went back to 1300 and looked for the most cosmopolitan, richest and most cultured region in Europe, you might pick the area around Bruges. Flemish traders had ships in Bruges went all over the known world, trading goods and reaping profits. Flemish painting over the next 150 years was sensational, innovative, rivalled only by Italy. Sadly for them, the area was always ruled by someone else. By French dukes, then Spain, then Austria, until Belgium came along around 1820.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely loved your photos. My family is from Bruges and I totally agree that it is by far the most beautiful place I have ever seen.


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