Favorite thing: Bruges is a very easy and compact city to navigate on foot. From the moment we left the train station we walked and explored Bruges on foot even though it was a bit cold and raining, which of course never stops me from exploring a beautiful city like Bruges.
On our second night in Bruges, we took an evening stroll -- it was too nice a night to stay cooped up -- and as we were making our way back to the Market Square, there was a thunderous BOOM! I at first thought it was a car backfiring, but Kelly pointed to the sky, where a small bit of colored light was visible. Fireworks!
Residents were coming out of houses to look upwards; others were hurrying along the street to try to find a better vantage point. We joined the groups of people walking very fast up streets and down alleys. It was dark, and the streets were narrow and convoluted. It reminded me of a scene from "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers."
The fireworks display was awesome. I've never experienced anything like it. In our hometown, we have a terrific 4th of July display, right above our heads in a field, but because it's out in the open, the sound isn't as loud. In Bruges' closed network of narrow streets and brick buildings, the sound reverberated, and I felt each BOOM in the pit of my stomach. It was almost deafening.
At one point, I just stood there on a dark corner, feeling entirely alone in the universe and watching green, blue, and red patterns explode across the sky. I found myself laughing with delight and echoing a nearby French voice: "Fantastique! Magnifique!"
After it was over, we were totally disoriented - we'd been running blindly through dark streets, following our own multicolored Star, and had no idea where we were. Luckily, Kelly's sense of direction guided us back to the Market Square.
This is a walker's paradise. Especially wander off of the tourist streets and you may discover hidden Brugge. HIGHLY recommended to go off season (or during shoulder season) since the crowds can make for aggravation for tourists and locals alike.
Fondest memory: Rounding the corners of ancient streets at night, feeling completely safe but sensing all this cumulative history.
Bruges is a great place to wander about. My favourite time is on a crisp sunny winters day when the tourists aren't filling the place and you can wander round enjoying the architecture and canals, exploring backstreets and stopping for the odd beer and a nice lunch.
Fondest memory: The canals and surrounding buildings.
As I said earlier, find me an ugly street in Brugge and I'll eat it :) Before seeing Brugge I kind of expected to love it .. but being there just overtook my expectations.
Yes, I will miss being a tourist, having spare time to wonder arround those streets, without a special purpose to find something.
Lucky Brugge residents ;)
One of the ways that people seems to enjoy in Brugge is taking the horse carriage. From what I saw, the driver/guides are very skilled in attracting tourists and explain to them what they are seeing. I can't tell you prices .. but I'm just guessing is more than a boat trip.
I never took a carriage (maybe I should) .. Brugge have pretty narrow streets, and you can see also some Series 7 BMWs along with some one-horse power carriages :) Though that's some power horses they have there :)
Walk through the gate of the building on the left and you find tourist information there.
I think they just restore this building cause the colours are so bright.
This building is situated near the city hall, I thought this was the most beautiful square of Brugge.
This was the last photo of me & Reg in Brugge.
Reg is on the photo, taken by me in the Un-Touristy area in Brugge.
The bridges were all over the place & it would look like that centuries ago. It's amazing if you guys also could walk around the un-touristy area in Brugge.
This is in the Touristy Area & it's me there ! Looks like I was wearing a skirt or something ! It's a loose pant actually.
In the city centre, we could see more shops & all the history sights are easily recognizable also !
On my back on the photo, we could see The Belfort; Unfortunately, we didn't go up the tower because we had something more nicer, that was to walk around the UN-TOURISTY AREA ! Look at the photos below...
Wander around a place is one way to get to know the ambience or the feel of it.
Me & Reg wandered ourself for a couple of hours around Brugge.
We discovered there are 2 main areas of Brugge :
The Touristy Area; Where we could see tourists of course. The museums, the shopping area, the market stalls etc etc.
The Un-Touristy Area; Which covers the houses of people living in Brugge (Bruges). There's not much to see in this area but this is the area where it's very quiet, very nice for walking or talking with the locals.
The photo shows Reg in the Touristy area. You could see some shops, mostly selling beautiful laces ! Some selling foods, dolls, cafes etc etc.
I would love to walk around Bruges all day... and especially on a day like the one we happened to have.
It was freezing cold but the sun was up and thats all that matters for me! and the sky was blue!
Just walk around and enjoy this wonderful place!
When coming from the Burg towards the fishmarket, you will walk through a small gate. It is called the Blinde Ezelspoort.
You have just passed the colorfull Old Civil Registry. Turn around and look back, because the backside of the gate is just wonderfull to see.
Ofcourse you are better of to keep your eyes open evry time you walk through Bruges, there are hidden gems everywhere.......
Favorite thing: I highly recommend a long walk around the city. This city is not really that big, so I suggest you walk around & explore, especially if you have a map. You might catch yourself crossing a bridge several times that you've already seen. Another great place to relax in Bruges is at the Botanical Gardens.
Fondest memory: Wandering and discovering, the best parts of your day in Brugge. Do not stick to just what the guidebooks tell you. If you do, you'll miss the details. Like this cool pumpkin witch decorating a local shop.
The Stoofstraat, although Stoof is a Flemish word, you might recognize the word "stove" in it.
That is exactly what it means.
In this street you had a lot of public bathrooms. It was a public secret that sometimes not only the water of the bath tubs got heated `-)
Fondest memory: This street goes in a bend. The entrance you see on this picture is at the Walplein (where the brewerie museum the Halve Maan is) and it gives way on the Katelijnestraat.
In this street, just around this bend, you will find lots of little shops, handycraft shops but also a very nice chocolat shop where I usually buy my soft chocolat truffles.
At the back ground you can spot the tower of the Our Lady's church at few minutes walk from here.