Posts Tagged ‘ travel: belgium: bruges ’

in bruges – part two.

So this morning, I got up quite early to take advantage of the free breakfast thanks to Snuffel. Crazily enough, breakfast finishes at 9.30! It was simple breakfast, toast and cereal, but after having gourging on pastries in Berlin, and forgetting all about breakfast in Brussels, it was a nice change.

Hung around taking advantage of the internet, and by the time I actually got out of the hostel it was a shameful 11am. Oh well. :)

I went on a little walk that I had kind of planned for myself using the highlights from the Use It map.

First I visited Hof Bladelin. Behind closed doors, you would never see this from the street. So I rang the doorbell and one of the nuns buzzed me in.

a hidden courtyard.

Then it was up to see the Rijksnormaalschool, now a teaching school. It’s all about the architecture in this building, something about how in the late 19th century, there was a bit of a revamp of some medieval buildings, but sometimes mixed with… neo-Gothic? Yeah, that’s what the map said; I’m not too crash hot with my architecture terminology. :)


Oh by the way, some of Bruges by day.

a little bit of everything. (side note, i would love to live in a mustard yellow house!)

there are lots of churches around here.

I love these tiny details also. :)

who wouldn't love a treble clef window detail??

Anyway, also passed by the priest school, Grootseminarie. Map says that only three priests will graduate this year.


I also got excited when I saw one of the many bridges go up… :)

bridge go up.

There was also this whole stretch of windmills… well, just four of them.


i see rooftops... with recurring crane theme!

Map says that little remains of the medieval fortifications of Bruges, other than the four gates that lead into the city. This was the eastern one.

ost poorten (east gate).

And then I got distracted by the suggestion from Use It to visit De Kringwinkel. It’s pretty much just a Vinnies, so I spent way too long looking at random stuff in there, and spending a little… Yay for catching Eurostar back to London! :D

entrance to the treasure cave!

Then I went off to find lunch. I had intended to try this Flemish place recommended by, of course, Use It, but by the time I got there, it had just closed. Silly me and spending so much time looking for treasure. :)

Oh well, no matter. Instead I went to the oldest bar in Bruges, Café Vlissinghe, and tried the Flemish onion soup with cheesy toast, as well as a hot chocolate.

café, old style heater is warm, food.

Made my way back to the hostel to dump my shopping, fully intending to climb the famous belfry. I had to look up a few things though, and so by the time I got out and headed over to the belfry, it was past 16.00 and so it had closed already. I panicked for a bit, thinking that I wouldn’t have time in the morning to make the climb, but on checking, I had booked my Eurostar from Brussels at 17.30 or so, so I wouldn’t really need to leave Bruges until after lunch, which worked out fine.

So instead, I wandered around some more, as I do. :)

the town hall, some clogs, and yet another canal.

I made it to the Church of Our Lady, to see ‘Madonna with Child’, one of the few Michelangelos outside Italy, on view for free! (Yes, again, thanks to Use It. I should get paid…!)

madonna with child, and the church of our lady.

More wandering followed. I had fun taking a brief look at all the things in The Old Curiosity Shop (8 Walstraat, 8000 Brugge).

the old curiosity shop.

Then I came upon the Beguinage, one of 12 that makes a part of UNESCO World Heritage. Walking past the gate, you really feel the sense of peace that the women there adhere to. It doesn’t hurt that it is exceptionally pretty either!

bruges beguinage.

I decided to finish up walking there and start finding something for dinner. They seem to eat super early here in Bruges…

on the way...

Of course, being Friday night, and Bruges being a small city, the place that I had intended to go was fully booked out. So after trawling the streets for affordable food, I ended up at… a pretty canal, distracted by night shots!

night time in bruges again.

Then I got to Quick, aka fake-Maccas. But not to worry, then I got some nice dessert from Stridjershuis.

cheese delice menu (a cheeseburger with just the meat, cheese and cheesy sauce), apple pie with hot chocolate.

Then it was time to head back to the hostel.

Oh yeah, so I don’t know if you knew, but Bruges is a UNESCO listed site all on its own?


And ok, now that I’m getting around to posting this, that was actually yesterday, just like how yesterday’s post was actually Thursday. In any case, it’s time for tower climbing and then heading back to Brussels, to get my Eurostar back to London.

BBB trip over.



in bruges – part one.

This morning, I had a number of things to do: check out by 11, find my Brussels souvenir, buy that bag that I saw last night, and possibly try to hit up the flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle/Vossenplein, towards the south.

Last minute packing up, had to clear the sheets, stowed luggage, got my deposit back (yay for increased liquidity!), and then headed off to the shops. I got rather distracted on the way to Springfield (link), and so I lost a bit of time. Got my bag, and then it was off to Lemonnier station via metro.

The metro system is kind of weird to be honest. They felt more like trams… or something? I don’t know. it was a bit strange.

Anyway, got to Lemonnier and then made my way to the flea market.

Saw this cool installation on my way there…

democracy now.

I really love streets in Europe. They are generally always very picturesque.

oh look, it's a street.

I only had a little bit of time to spend there, since I had to be back at the hostel to pick up my luggage before 13.00, since the reception closes from 13-16.00. But I had fun wandering around, looking at all the things that people had up for offer. There were a lot of cups and plates and that kind of thing, as well as electronics, the odd stall that sold piles of clothes. I picked up a few old postcards, more for the stamps than anything, as well as some odd keyrings. :)

to market, to market.

I would have loved to have more time but it was time for me to rush back to get my suitcase before reception closed, so that I would make it to Bruges in time to get a little bit of a walk around while it was still bright.

So rushed back, got my luggage, then went on my search for my souvenir.

waffle break. :)

After a few dud shops, I ended up back at the store that I had looked at yesterday. Caught a few pictures of the Grand Place since the sun had come out to play again, then went in search of the central station.

It happened that it was nearby to the pretty garden bit down from the museum area, so I detoured that way to take some more shots on the Nikon, luggage and all, before heading down to the station.

gare centrale.

And then I was off to Bruges!

a view from the train.

When I arrived in Bruges, I followed the instructions given by the hostel, so hopped on a bus… and kind of missed the stop… by a lot. So caught a bus back and got it right the second time. At least I got to go on a bit of a bus adventure…? :)

Made it to Markt, the main square in Bruges, and juggled luggage while trying to take advantage of the sun and blue skies.


And the famous belfry…

the belfy.

After the distraction of the sun and blue skies on pretty, old buildings, then went to find the hostel. I’m staying at the Snuffle Hostel. It’s near this pretty canal… :)

hello canal!

Checked in at the hostel, and had a rough time getting my suitcase up the tiny spiral staircase, but in the end I made it, and then had a look at the map. I love these maps from Use It. They cover lots of things from locals, and are aimed at the ‘younger traveller’. I found it quite useful in Brussels, and there’s one here for Bruges as well.Finally got out to exploring, and then stopped by at a small café just near the hostel. De Bretoen (Ezelstraat 4, 8000 Brugge) is a cute little place, recommended by my map. I got a hot chocolate and the apple/caramel pancake. The pancake was lovely, maybe a little too sweet. The hot chocolate, however, wasn’t as good after I found a fly in my first cup…

food and pancake making man!

Then I just wandered around the town a little bit, getting some lights.

a little of bruges...

... by night. :)

And I love this. Saw this printed on someone’s door.

at home in bruges.

Until I next get internet access at the hostel….!