Our first morning in Bruges was a leisurely one. Exhausted as we were from the past few days of traveling, we all slept in. Doug, however, went to the Markt (market square) early and snagged us some delicious pastries. One of the best things in the world is to be greeted in the morning by warm pastries and fresh coffee. I'm not usually a breakfast eater, but how could I resist (Also it seems like in Europe, breakfast is a big deal)? After breakfast we decided to explore the city! We started out by going to the farmer's market in the Markt. The farmer's market had a variety of things from clothes to meat, pastries and cheese. While we were enthralled by the gorgeous and fresh edibles, we were not impressed by the vendors selling cheap knock-offs of designer accessories (Although scarves are always a temptation for me no matter how cheaply made they are, not gonna lie).
After browsing the bazaar, we made our way to the rest of the city. My favorite thing about Bruges is how it attracts so many tourists, yet locals live and go about their daily business there. I had a premonition that Belgians would be standoffish and unaccommodating, but every local we met was quite nice and personable, especially to tourists. The streets of Bruges are a people-watcher's dream and it was very easy to lose ourselves (and the morning) in wandering around the city.
|At the edge of Markt, just a few blocks away from our vacation home|
|Fresh Belgian waffles|
We spent a good amount of time browsing lace and chocolate shops (as Belgium is famous for both) and made a few purchases each. Near the city hall we stopped at a waffle stand for lunch. I've had "Belgian waffles" in the States, and to be honest I wasn't too jazzed about them. But, like everyone had told me, Belgian waffles are amazing. The waffles were thick and fluffy, with sugar crystals baked into the dough. They were served a la mode or plain, and were delicious both ways. My mouth is watering just writing about them.
|A few pieces of famous Bruges lace and a loom on display|
|A chocolate shop named "Stef's" so naturally we had to get a picture with it!|
|A gorgeous marble statue inside the cathedral|
Our second activity that we had to do was a canal tour. Like Venice, Bruges rests upon a series of waterways. I have never been to a city with canals before, and I was awestruck.
On our way to the canal tour, we noticed a group of people gathered on a bridge very excitedly. As they stood there, a few of them began to unfurl a banner and hang it off of the bridge. Eventually, the words on the banner became legible- "Just Married" about a minute later, a canal made its way through the water and under the bridge with a bride and groom (in full wedding attire) in the back of it. Everyone (including us!) began clapping and cheering as the bride and groom kissed. It was such a special moment to witness and I'm glad we were in the right place at the right time.
|Gorgeous shot of a canal|
|The tour guide was helpful enough to mention that his is the "City's lowest bridge." Mind your head!|
We ended the day by stopping at a flea market we had spied while on the canal tour. There were tables and tables full of trinkets and while I did not buy anything, I always enjoy a good flea market thus it was fun to look at everything from old coins, metal decorations, ornate keys and antique cutlery.
Let me wrap this up with a few of my favorite pictures I took around the city:
I hope you enjoyed this post! I started it two months ago and am glad to finally get it published. My goal is to do one post a week, regardless of how busy I am. Keep me accountable, people! I hope you all have a great week.
Stay tuned for my next post: Brussels