Our story of Bruges is probably very much the same as most of the other young travelers who make their way to this tiny, charming town. A few years ago we saw the movie In Bruges and ever since we have wanted to walk the medieval streets and sip coffee on square with the bell tower (the one that Brendan Gleeson jumps out of). Our story is a little different, as we spent two hours awkwardly enduring the movie with my grandparents in the same room. If you have seen In Bruges, then you know that that movie is not family friendly, and even though we really liked it, we felt very strange listening to Colin Ferrell drop the F-bomb hundreds of times. So, I dedicate this post to my grandparents and those awkward 108 minutes.
We took the train from Paris to Brussels and then on to Bruges, arriving just in time to go out for a delicious lunch of mussels and frites (fries)! Well, we actually ended up getting something called a Biky burger (some kind of mystery meat patty…possibly sausage…with sauce) and frites from a cart in the square, as the mussels are extremely expensive (over 20 euros per bucket) and we were running seriously low on money. We did have enough money, however, to buy a few delicious Belgium beers, which we enjoyed in the comfort of our attic room. The rest of our first day was a mix of drinking beer, searching for affordable food (which was a big problem the whole time we were in Bruges), and wandering the cobbled streets.
The next day, our only full day in Bruges, was extremely rainy, but we walked around town nonetheless. We strolled along the narrow lanes, walked over quaint bridges and took a boat through the canals. We did go out for mussels for one meal (it’s hard to resist when they are featured at every restaurant!). The mussels were delicious and there were SO many in the pot we had decided to share. The highlight for me, however, were the frites. They were the most perfect fries that I have ever tasted and all other fries for the rest of my life will be compared to the fries from Bruges. The rain had really picked up in the afternoon, so we grabbed a few beers and a box of Belgian chocolates, which we enjoyed snuggled up in our room.
Our bus to Amsterdam wasn’t until the afternoon, so we spent our last few hours in Bruges walking to Minnewater Lake and finding our Christmas ornament. On the way we ran into a market, where we bought the most delicious grilled chicken I have ever had, and perfect raspberries.
We have been to a lot of small, charming towns. Cobbled alleyways have pretty much lost their appeal. Bruges was different. Everything about the town feels old and untouched by time.