Even though Belgium isn’t a large country, I had never been to Bruges until last weekend. I had carefully planned our walk through the city, to not miss some of it’s beautiful spots. First off, let me start by saying that we didn’t DO anything on this first trip. We just went on a long walk to discover the city a bit and get acquainted with the atmosphere. We are definitely going to visit again (there’s only so many places you can go to in one day) and will make sure to do the more touristy attractions, visit a museum or two..
A first tip for those who ever want to visit Bruges: If you don’t like crowds, try to avoid the weekend or holidays as much as possible. We went on a Friday and even then there were a lot of people roaming the streets.
And maybe also a second tip: Make sure to bring an umbrella! We had a lot of luck with the weather this weekend (at first it looked like it was going to rain), but in Belgium you just never know.
We started off with a lovely breakfast at Carpe Diem. This cosy tearoom/bakery can be found in one of the small streets near the Béguinage Ten Wijngaerde.
We had an amazing breakfast with bubbles, smoked salmon, boiled eggs, all sorts of pastry and a nice cup (or 3) of hot chocolate to fill us with enough energy for the long walk we were about to take.
With our bellies full of this deliciousness we started our walk at the “Minnewater” pond. This place is swarming with swans and carriages drawn by horses. You can take a ride with a guide in one of these if you’re a bit lazier than us. The clanking of their hooves on the cobblestones each time they pass by adds to the rustic atmosphere here.
On our walk we encountered many cute little bridges. Boats filled with tourists passed by regularly, as we admired the small and often strange houses by the water.
We discoverd a bakery/tea room which solely sells Merveilleux. Being the Meringue lovers we are, we couldn’t just let this pass. We went inside to rest up a bit and ordered some tea and of course some delicious Merveilleux. We sat ourselves at a table on the top floor, overlooking the bakery. The perfect spot for people watching. And for drooling over the pretty Merveilleux downstairs. I had a small cherry flavoured one, since I was still feeling a bit full after breakfast, but my husband insisted on taking a large one covered in white chocolate. There’s only one word to describe them: heaven. I’m truly in love with this place and feel sorry for the fact that Bruges is more than an hour away from us. Maybe that’s a good thing though, otherwise I would visit this bakery weekly…
Resuming our walk, we went to the windmills you can find by the riverside in the northeastern part of the city. We encountered many joggers and bikers in this area. Everyone was enjoying the weather and the peacefulness that surrounded the windmills. If I lived here, this would be my favourite place to come to and read a book on one of the many benches.
Leaving the windmills behind us, we headed back towards the centre of the city. We strolled through some deserted streets and enjoyed the quiet and the sun (my winter blues instantly faded away). We ended up at the “Koningin Astridpark”. A beautiful park in the middle of the city, though it was a bit muddy at that time. There were already some people laying on the grass, trying to soak up as much sun as they could.
We decided to get back to the car and drive to our hotel to check in and rest up before dinner.
Have you ever visited Bruges before? What were your favorite places, or which places would you want to visit?
I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. See you next time.