When I planned our Brussels weekend trip my husband suggested we spend a day in Bruges. I was against it since it was just a short trip but I’m so glad that he managed to change my mind. Bruges is a perfect picture postcard town. And it kind of reminded me of English countryside towns and I seriously love the English countryside.
So, on a beautiful Sunday morning we boarded our train to Bruges from Brussels Midi station. The train was packed full with tourists and somehow after walking through several carriages we eventually found ourselves a place to sit. It was only a short train ride since Belgium isn’t really big and on our way to Bruges we passed near several other tourist-worthy Belgian towns such as Ghent. There was an older Belgian gentleman sitting opposite me and he struck a conversation with me. I have to say that I speak some French and I tried to use my French as much as possible during this trip but everyone we met spoke good English. So we talked briefly about Brussels and Bruges and Belgian coast and about French and Flemish language representation in Belgium.
Soon we arrived to Bruges and followed the mass of tourists out of the train station and into the town. However, the groups of tourists dispersed quickly since everyone obviously had another idea of how to get to the strict center of the town.
We walked past a row of old small houses which looked more like they belonged in a fairy tale book than in a modern-day world. Passing the St.Salvator’s Cathedral we found ourselves in a busy street leading to the main square Markt. And what a sight to behold! The square is surrounded by colourful picturesque buildings from different periods. There’s also the majestic Provincial Court building which can be mistaken for a town hall and of course looming over the square is the 83-meter-high Belfry tower from 1248. There was also a kind of carnival at the square which I must say looked a bit out of odds with the beautiful square. You could spend hours at the square just admiring the beautiful facades of the buildings or watching the world go by from one of the many café terraces on the square. But the first thing we did in Brugge or Bruges was to climb 366 steps up to the top of the Belfry tower to see the whole town. However, it wasn’t an easy climb since the passage was often very narrow and steep and we had to wait in queue for half an hour before. There’s not much inside the tower except from the big wooden chest in the Treasure Room and the intricate clock/bells mechanism further up. Nevertheless, the view alone was worth the climb and the hefty 8 euros ticket.