Bruges, yup. I did not make my research before getting there. It was February while I was travelling in Belgium and Bruges was full of tourists, like old Englishman and ladies and extremely lot of Aussies, though there were lot of alternative places and filled with backpackers, quite surprisingly, as well. I had enough luck to find a couch via couchsurfing there and spend in Bruges all in all about 24 hours, which is in my humble opinion sufficient for this small city.
So, I took the train from Brussels to Bruges, departing every hour, which cost about 5 euro. Initially, the plan was to hitchhike, though I thought it was in this case simply not worth it. My couch host have had a shift at work, in one of Bruge’s coolest hostels, so I left my stuff there and started to explore city on my own. There was a walking tour organised by a girl, who moved to Bruges month ago from the US and later in the evening also Belgian beer tasting in another hostel. It sounds like a pretty lame stuff, though as I was travelling alone, for the first time in my life, and it was pretty much cold, I decided it will be a good idea to join some other backpackers.
(Best waffles in Bruges, available even in winter, at Burg next to the Basilica of the Holy Blood)
(One of most important fishmarkets in Belgium, nowadays serving as a souvenir market.)
Some of you might have seen the movie with Collin Farrel, called ‘In Bruges’, well I did not. Another mistake. The tour was based on the movie. It is quite a popular one. I finally saw it after the trip and found it not necessarily worth watching. However, I found the idea of such a tour quite good and our guide included all of most important spots in Bruges, unvelling the secrets of city’s history, basing on the scenes from the movie. We also have visited traditional chocolate shop with amazing pralines, near to the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Definite must go! It seem to be quite known like it would not need any more recommendations, but I found it incredibly cute, how the woman told us the story of the long tradition of her chocolate shop. They do all of chocolates by themselves, according to an old recipe from her grandfather (i do not want to know whether it is true or not, it was simply cute!) and they are definitely worth tasting. There are also some vegan, no sugar etc ones, so there is something for everyone! http://www.chocolateriedeburg.be/Welcome.html
(The wonderful canals of Bruges, Belgium)
I had much fun during both guided tour and later beer tasting in the hostel, got totally wasted with tasty, strong Belgian beers, though while going, hungover obviously, to Ghent I stated that the city is too small and too touristic. I never was a fan of such small places, I mean, from the touristic point of view it was amazing, with its wonderful architecture and quite a lot of activities for tourists even in winter, but I could never imagine living in Bruges, though I’d definitely like to move to Belgium someday!
(The Basilica of Holy Blood, Bruges, Belgium – next to the Burg and before mentioned chocolatier.)
And just one advice for those, who are expecting anyone in Bruges speaking French – forget it.
PS Sorry for bad pics, my camera has had hard times in Belgium and France… And as I have lost my old phone, I have only those few pics from wonderful Bruges :c