Mid-October, blue skies, shimmering canals and cobbled streets. I knew I was going to like Bruges from the start. It even had windmills. Windmills.
Living in London, I’m used to a bit of a dirty city (I still love you regardless, London). Bruges is sparkling clean to an incredible degree. Everything looks so fresh, even the mounds of grass, not a single patch a shade other than a healthy, lush green. It was me and my immediate family along with my brother-in-law, on a weekend cruise to celebrate a special birthday for my mum.
What’s more, everyone just seemed purely relaxed. For somewhere so clean, you’d half expect some Monica from ‘Friends’ type characters watching your every move to make sure you didn’t drop anything. Instead, people were casually browsing the windows of chocolate fountains and delicately created chocolates or the typically European Christmas decorations.
Little carved figures of santa (with skis was my favourite) looking remarkably happy with their wooden life were displayed in windows; something that always reminds me of Czech Republic – with my mum being Czech, our Christmasses are a bit different to English/American ones and we always had some of these traditional ornaments on our tree :)
I was particularly fascinated by a street performer, playing the hang drum (won’t lie, looks like an upside down wok). It was beautifully chilled and echoey. It perfectly reflected the vibe of the city even if it was sort of more Caribbean tones… it just worked so well to make you feel relaxed and positive for more sightseeing.
To top it off, we found a lovely spot beside a canal in the sun to drink some fruit beer, a Belgium speciality. I didn’t even mind when the sun was in my eyes. It was the perfect day.