Saturday, 31 October 2015

Sail Back: Birthday Bruges

Everyone loves being whisked away for their birthday, and I was so excited when my husband Mark revealed we would be spending my birthday weekend in Bruges in November 2011.

We started the day walking into the city from the station, the architecture quickly transforming from modern to medieval as we entered the historic centre. Amazingly Bruges managed to avoid any heavy bombing during the Second World War, preserving its medieval centre and charm.

The city was covered in the golden leaves of the beech trees, speckling the cafe chairs and tables which were waiting for the morning's coffee customers. There was something very peaceful and special about the city and we were only at the beginning!

Our first stop was for hot waffles with lashings of melted chocolate whilst we explored the day's market. The waffles were sweet and delicious; the perfect welcome to Belgium! 

Before long we were working up an appetite for lunch with a trip up the Belfry. The Belfry is an historic bell tower above the former treasury which stands 83m above the town. The view from the top was lovely, with splendid views over the gabbled rooftops and some navigational engravings to cities from around the globe.

Back at ground level we enjoyed a traditional Flemish lunch and a Belgian beer in the sunshine in Grote Markt Square. 

One of Bruges' best sights is the view of the river and the trailing trees into the water. There were boats offering trips along the river but we opted to walk slowely and aimlessly seeing where it would lead us. We found the quieter area around Jan Van Eyckplien Square framed by colourful and characterful homes along the waterfront. 

Of course we couldn't leave Belgium without some of its world famous chocolate! We hand selected a few boxes (one for now, one for later) from (chocolate shop) before strolling out hand in hand, fully in love with the city. 

We enjoyed our day in Bruges as part of a 2 night P&O cruise from Hull* to Zebrugge. 

*Bruges is actually closer to our home in Dorset than Hull!

Other blogs from the Sail Back series: