Archive for January, 2015

 

 

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“It’s a fairytale town, isn’t it? How’s a fairytale town not somebody’s f’ing thing? … all those canals and bridges and cobbled streets and those churches, all that beautiful f’ing fairytale stuff…” – In Bruges (2008)

I don’t know how many movie quotes we managed to slip in, probably a million. This was such an amazing little mini break and if you haven’t been before you MUST.

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Chris surprised me on Christmas morning with one of our favourite DVDs – “In Bruges”. I was happy enough with the thought behind it but when he told me to open it and there were two tickets to Bruges inside.. major brownie points.

I haven’t been to many places like this, I would describe it as a hybrid between Amsterdam and Paris. Quaint little cafés, cobbled streets and museums of BEER! CHOCOLATE! and CHIPS!

 

“…How can that not be somebody’s f’ing thing, eh?”

 

Right. I’m going to hook you up with a quick “To Do” list for this lovely little place. (I was only there for 3 days so this is a revised version – if you’re going for longer I’d advise looking at Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor forums.)

  1. Markt Square – You’ll inevitably end up crossing this square numerous times. It has some beautiful buildings, horse drawn carriages and open air restaurants. If you’re more sporty less lazy than I am you can also rent some bicycles and meander around the city.
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  3. Choco Story (Chocolate Museum) – Bruges is dotted with chocolate shops (Belgian chocolate, hello?). This museum tells you about the history of chocolate and the process it goes through, culminating in a chocolate demonstration – definitely the best bit. You get to watch it being made and even get a cheeky little sample.
    wpid-20150124_140414.jpg (^ Not on display in the actual museum.. for some reason.)
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  5. Beer Museum – Self explanatory. I’ve always been a beer drinker, but I think I’ve turned a little snobby after being in Belgium. It’s perfectly normal for restaurant beer to be anywhere from 6% to 9%, putting British beer to shame. This is down to the war when beer strengths plummeted to 0.8, never fully recovering and plateauing at around 4%. (See? I was listening.) The museum itself was OKAY.. Basically a couple of rooms with some barrels and a bunch of QR codes to scan with an iPad handed to you at the beginning. The real magic happens downstairs at the bar, where you can sample some of the delish beers while overlooking the Markt Square.wpid-20150124_152042.jpg
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  7. Historium – I get bored easily so I wasn’t sure what to expect here. This place offers to give you a brief history of Bruges. As soon as you step inside though, it’s exciting. Historium promises to be a “fully immersive experience” and definitely delivers. You’re given some headphones and a piece of equipment that tracks where in the building you are, and plays the recordings accordingly. They’ve decked the place out to look like 15th century Bruges, with a port, baths, market, even a square with snow! The whole tour follows the story of a young boy who is a painter’s apprentice. There are screens in each room (some appear through opening doors or window shutters) which play the next part of the story.
    …And at the very end you can go and do some MORE BEER TASTING!wpid-20150123_151904.jpg
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  9. The Rozenhoedkaai – This is one of the most photographed locations in Bruges, and for good reason. A beautiful spot to take a few snaps.wpid-20150123_140625.jpg
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  11. Wafel met Slagroom – No sniggering – this is a “waffle with cream”. I’ve never been big on waffles but now I’m a believer. Try one from the vendors for that authentic feeeeel. I got one for dessert at a restaurant and it was perfection. I can’t look at this photo without my mouth making rain.wpid-img_20150127_125120.jpg
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  13. The Belfry Tower – If you’ve watched In Bruges: No we didn’t pay 5 cent less and we didn’t try to leap off the top. There are 366 steps to the top (do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt on a hangover – damn thing nearly killed me) and there are little resting points (praise be) where you see a big ol’ bell and some great views. The best view though is of course the very top (see first two photos in this post).wpid-2015-01-23-17.47.26.jpg.jpeg
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  15. Night Life – There is a strip of bars where young ‘uns flock to of an evening. Music, drinks and a choice of about 10+ places to dine or water yourself. There are other pubs and rock/jazz bars in and around the centre of Bruges though so I recommend taking a stroll in the day to scout them out.
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In all, the best 3 day holiday yet. Do it!

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