Brrr, Brugges.

June 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

I never thought that I would fall in love with a northern European city, especially not in Belgium.  And yet… I couldn’t help but swoon a little bit as Mr. Italian took me on a very extensive stroll through Brugges.

We’re in Belgium for a week, staying in a smaller town outside of a small town outside of Brugges.  And while most of the trip revolves around weddings and families, our first day was spent by ourselves, stocking up on all things good: chocolates and pastries and frizzy drinks.  All while admiring colorful, neat architecture.  This city did not let us down, and I can see why he always goes on and on about how glorious it is.  Because it is glorious.

BruggesGovernmentBuilding

It is small and compact; easy to navigate.  Surrounded by a river and a green, green park.  Scattered with various canals.  A juxtaposition of time and style.  From the old:

BruggesFancyHorseTo the new:

BruggesFaceBuilding

And, sprinkled through it all, beautiful flowers of all colors and shapes:

(and I do mean all colors!):

BruggesBumblebeeFlowers

We started out getting energized at Cafe’ Vero, a quaint coffee shop that serves surprisingly scrumptious macchiato and homemade almond/apple pastries.  I am a proud, new fan of Coffee Nation, the brand of espresso beans that they use.

BruggesCafeVeroMachiatoCake

And then it was time for a stroll through all of the typical snapshots of the city: bicycles, funky iron sculptures, and arches.

I could not get over how neat and tidy everything was- even the trash sitting outside seemed to be on some sort of display:

BruggesTrashStreet

And how positive all of the wall decorations were:

BruggesBiycleHeartSchool

And look at all of the eccessive and perfect architecture:

BruggesColorfulFacadeMainPlaza

And at all of the intricate doors:

BruggesDoor

And at all of the crazy chocolate creations.  And at these marzipan rolls of every possible taste:

BruggesMarzipanCheese

And, of course, there’s always the pointy architecture that makes me feel like I am walking in a Wrinkle in Time cookie-cutter neighborhood that’s got a lot of spunk:

After some sightseeing and art museum browsing, it was time for another refreshment stop at The One, a wine nook tucked away from the main streets and backed up to a park with harp music wafting from all directions:

 

BruggesFlowersI mean, if you see a sign like this, how can you resist?

BruggesWineBreak

Then we stumbled upon an evil nun spying on us from the rootfop:

BruggesRooftopNun

And Les Miz-inspired wall art:

BruggesMiserablesArt

And the canals- so many canals!BruggesCanalFacadePatio

And I even found a little slice of Austin, TX:

BruggesCelisBrewery

The we took a stroll around the park that surrounds the city, which had inspirational stones scattered throughout (like this one: every day offers me something, and I offer something to the day).

BruggesStoneMessage

And, to tie it all up, we had tomato soup and mussels with fries.  Because there seem to be a lot of traditional meals here, but none of them are complete without fries (or something else that is fried):

BruggesMusselsAndFries

All in all, a good little city.  Even despite its coldness- it definitely does not feel like summertime!  Especially at night, when temperatures drop into the single digits and I wonder why I did not bring a winter coat- and why all of the other classily-yet-barely-clad girls aren’t using theirs.

 

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