Where Bruges offers her own seduction
22.05.2016 - 29.05.2016 15 °C
After going around Japan for a bit. This entry brings us back to Europe and once again, to the lovely little town of Bruges. Despite being vaulted into popularity by a Hollywood film and having the status as a good travel destination. The population of these towns continue to dwindle and Bruges was openly admitting it. Just step into this container after you exit from the train station and you will have a good idea of what it takes to become a citizen of Bruges.
In Bruges, there's three popular method of getting around. I tried driving (the spinning bridge was an interesting experience) but it was quite a nightmare and sometimes, getting a proper parking places would end up being too far away from the popular destinations that a visitor would want to go anyway. Plus, the pedestrian and cyclists have the right of way. So there's really no bonuses of driving around the city.
For a good dose of medieval immersion, go with the horses.
For a unique experience of munching waffles while cruising on water. Go with the small boats. There are some places where you can't reach by land transportation. If this is your first time to Bruges, I recommend this option. Plus, you will have a good dose of Bruges history fed to you by the tour guide.
Or, since the elegant cobbled streets and every nook and cranny of this quaint city is worth exploring, might as well go on foot
The third option can look daunting at first and every place seems a bit far away.
But one can stumble upon some gems along way. For instance, you can see residential area like this.
Some corner of the town
One can also wander into the wood-like trail
Try to make friends with ducks
Or just have a good walk around the beautiful park (sometimes the tourist crowd can be a bit vexing so walking to a more remote area is pretty nice)
The obvious place to go while in Bruges is the center of the town, where you can see the Markt, the Belfry of Bruges and the Historic Center of Bruges. If you are lost while wandering around, just follow the nearest excited crowd and you will either end up there or back to the train station where you could get proper directions again. Back to the main square, if you walk up on some of the buildings, you will be able to take in a panoramic view of the architecture elegance of this town.
This is the historic center of Bruges, there is an interactive tour and museum within and can help you to understand the rich history of the city.
This is the Belfry of Bruges
There are 366 steps to the top and the view is rewarding. The tower has a carillion, which allow the bells to be played by a hand keyboard. This city also employs a full time carilloneur who also gives out free concerts occasionally, if you are in luck, you'd be able to join that. There is also a major festival every year when it is the Day of Ascension. The crowd will join in with medieval dress ups and typically the procession is a mile long. The crown jewel of this procession is the relic of the Holy Blood of Christ, rumored to be brought to the city after the second crusade. You can see the relic in the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Bruges is also home to another treasure, the sculpture Madonna and Child, which is the only Michaelangelo's sculpture that left Italy during his lifetime. The sculpture can be seen in the Church of our lady. If you are fan of Christian relics and art, you will like these.
Besides these ancient items that I have mentioned, there are also some modern sculptures tucked away in the city. They are actually pretty detailed.
Towards the evening, after the tourist crowd disperse, presumably heading back to Brussels. Bruges exhibit another kind of desolate beauty as if the city is turning into a ghost town.
Activities typically dies down as the sun set. Fans of musical performance can check out the occasional performance in the concert hall. And as for me, I enjoyed the quiet walks around the town.
If you do happen to visit Bruges, don't forget to buy chocolates and enjoy waffles with whipped cream. In the next entry, I will write about another city, Until next time.