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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fairytales in Bruges

Our first trip since moving to London. Planned over after - dinner drinks on Monday night, we left Friday afternoon! Bruges! I'd never even heard of it. Didn't know what country it was in, but it was booked before I had a chance to even think about that. 
Funny thing that happened is the next day, Mick and I were looking through Netflix for something to watch and the title "In Bruges" scrolled by. I told Mick to scroll back, that I think I just saw a movie about Bruges! Obviously we had to watch it to prep for our trip. I would very much recommend the movie, very funny with beautiful views of Bruges. I felt like I'd already been there once we arrived Friday night. 

Getting there
We decided to fly rather than train, although if I ever go again I will just take the train. We took a train from Farringdon to Gatwick Airport (about 1 hour) then a 45 minute flight to Brussels (btw, coffee, tea, water - NOT FREE on EasyJet :( ). Once we got to Brussels we had to figure out the train to Bruges. This was especially painful because there was not a train schedule in English, nor did any of our phones work to use Google Maps. We went off of the word of one dude who spoke a tiny bit of English. Thankfully, he was telling the truth and we made it to Bruges around 10 or 11pm, making the train journey from Brussels to Bruges somewhere around 2 hours. The train trips (round trip) added probably 50 pounds ($80) per person to the cost of the trip. 


As I said earlier, we got in pretty late on Friday night. Our hotel, a nice spot right outside the city center and on the canal, was closed for the night. Audrey and I, being the smart ones of the group, decided to check out the wifi situation at the restaurant across the street. The waiters were sympathetic to our situation (or to two cute girls stranded in a foreign country) and gave us the password to the wifi (67896789) and offered their help in calling the hotel. Since nobody was actually at the hotel to answer the phone call (surprise), this was not helpful. But! The kind waiter had another idea, call somebody who works at the hotel! I don't know who he called but he was able to get the key code to the front door and let us in. By the way, through all this we have given him zero proof that we actually were booked to stay at this hotel. Bruges is just a trusting city. Once we got in, we found our room keys on the front desk and then barely found our way up to our room ("these stairs go to nowhere", "oh shit, that door leads straight into the canal", "where are the rooms!!") which was on the top floor and very large. 

We spent one full day and two nights in Bruges. I could have spent a week there just relaxing and taking it in, but I would likely gain 10 or so pounds on waffles alone.

My Bruges Top Five

1. Chocolate/Waffles - You should have to pay for smells at some of the confectionary shops we stopped in. Amazing.
2. Spicy Chicken Schwarma - Probably my favorite thing that I ate there
3. Canal-side beers - Because duh
4. The views - The entire city is a postcard
5. The people - It says a lot about the people of a city when they are all comfortable with leaving their bikes out on the street, unlocked

Views from our window over the canal

View of our window, from the canal ;)

I carried this umbrella around the entire trip and it only sprinkled once ...On our way out the door in London

Btw, I'm aware that I dress like my cat when I'm away from him

Oh yeah, that's heavenly

Belfrey Tower

These two were too cute. Snickering about something adorably funny, I presume.

We bought a watercolor here

We did not buy a doll here

Church of Our Lady

I loved our tour guide's hand gestures. He spoke each bit in English, French and Dutch, so he did every gesture three times :) 

Spy window! "Be careful, if you zoom in too much then it is just a regular sized window"

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