Falling for Brugge
Brugge, located in northwest Belgium, is known for its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. We arrived here after a few days spent in the Netherlands. We were well-rested, and ready for new explorations. Little did we know just how incredible charming and intriguing this little city of Belgium would be. The main industry here has, for a long time, been tourism. There are preservation orders and strict by-laws inlace to ensure that the center looks much as it did during its medieval era.
The center of the city is encircled by a ring road that roughly follows the city’s original medieval defensive wall. The ancient gates of Brugge still stand. Just love every “smaller city” that we love – all of the main sights can be reached on foot. We parked our car at our guest house, and didn’t use it again while we were there.
Brugge has a reputation for culinary indulgences – the main two being chocolate and beer. There are about 60 chocolate store to be found in it’s narrow streets, and even a museum for the history of cocoa. There are tons of bars to choose from, a few breweries, and the Brugge Beer Museum.
Quote, below, from Fodors
“Brugge is a city that could have sprung from the pages of a Gothic fairy tale. Its cobbled streets, spidery canals, and medieval churches are remarkably well-preserved, having been spared the devastation that saw much of Belgium leveled during the 20th-century wars. The secret got out years ago, though, and avoiding weekends and high season is often the only way to skirt the crowds that flood its many boutique hotels.”
Although it’s often called by it’s French name, “Bruges” in many guidebooks and by English-speakers, the city’s official Flemish name is “Brugge” (bruhg-guh). This is actually the spelling that we saw and heard the most often while exploring the city, so it the one that stuck with us!
Where is Everyone?
We had heard that the city would be busy, and we were definitely prepared for that after exploring cities like Paris and Rome. However, we were utterly surprised by how FEW people we saw, especially in the streets around our guesthouse.
It almost seemed as though no one lived in these quiet streets. There were no sounds, no faces in the windows, and no kids playing in the streets. The quiet tranquility of it these cobbled side-streets definitely added to the mystery of this area of Brugge.
And then there was that soft glowing afternoon light…
I was enchanted by this place before we had even reached the city center!
His & Hers
A Hoegaarden White for him, and a Hoegaarden Rosée for her. Hoegaarden is, of course, a Belgium-made beer… so we “had to” indulge! The Rosée might be pink but it is still very much a wheat beer. It also features the soft taste and subtle colour of raspberries. And while it doesn’t feature a higher alcohol percentage, it does seem to go down VERY WELL in the sun.
Prices were definitely on the higher side in Brugge, so we often bought drinks at the corner stores. This, after all, one of our favorite early evening activities. With our Hoegaarden’s in hand, we strolled by one of the canals and admired the medieval buildings.
We ended up sitting down for dinner in an Irish Pub & Restaurant, called Delaney’s. In order to avoid food-envy (which is a real thing!) we both had the fish & chips. Our meals were AMAZING, and we were very happy with our dinner choice for the evening.
After dinner we bought a couple more drinks, threw them in the undercarriage of the stroller (what a plus!) and kept on strolling. I was completely gob-smacked by all of this medieval charm, so we decided to stay out until the city was all lit up. With our bellies full, and a few beers on-hand, we happily continued our aimless meandering through the streets of Brugge.