As I’ve said in my other two Belgium posts, it’s been 13 years, since I’ve been to Europe. Lucky for me, I finally had a chance to return. From September 1-6, my friends and I traveled around Belgium to take in all of its beauty, many of the towns, the languages and definitely some of the food and drink. This travel itinerary will come in three posts: Brussels, Mons and Bruges, as there is just way too much to share! Many, MANY thanks to the Smith Family for hosting us!!!!
Words cannot even describe how amazing Bruges is. Imagine the perfect fall day with the perfect air temperature, the leaves rustling and it being just crisp enough that you want to stroll around the canals, the alleyways, the streets and the square with a cappuccino in your hand and take it all in. There’s a reason it is called “The Venice of Belgium”. It’s beautiful, it’s quaint and it’s romantic. It is the one place in Belgium I am definitely returning to, to spend at least four days taking it in.
The pictures below don’t do it justice. Since it was a Sunday, most everything was closed (other places close at 6 pm). Thus, we missed the Michelangelo sighting, the Salvador Dali exhibit, the chocolate museum, a peek into numerous historical buildings, the horse carriage ride and the canal ride (hence why I need to return). Still, we happened to stumble upon the only thing going on that day - a cheese festival (amazing) – and learned that no matter how many people pack into an area, it’s one of the safest towns in Belgium.
Shopping and Dining
Bruges is a hub of both common shops and boutique shopping, as well as home to many delicious cafes. We started our day with a wonderful cafe lunch at Cafe Francois, which sits inside of the Burg Square. Our view allowed us to take in a beautiful view of City Hall, as well as the carriage tours, which started there.
The interesting thing about this restaurant, as well as most of the city, is that the primary language is Flemish. However, almost all menus (and servers for that matter) can be found in English. Needless to say, it made our dining experience the best yet.
When we were done, we headed down the main shopping corridor to just sort of wander around. (I bought a beautiful black Chantilly lace Chinese fan). From this point on, it was an incredible experience of stumbling upon more and more beauty at every turn.