Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Venice Of The North..

Today was my first full day in Bruges, I'm completely captivated by this place, it's so tiny and so perfectly preserved. The Bruges town has been around since about 850. Originally a very commercial town with it's large canals leading out to the sea meant ships could come right into Bruges to unload it's shipment. However the canals became inaccessible over a period of time due to an increase in soil in the canals, and the town ground to a halt and almost abandoned. It wasn't till tourism started did it become protected by UNESCO and become the city it is today.The city has a population of around 116,000 with 20,000 living in the old town. The old town is the original part of Bruges where all the heritage buildings and houses are, old town is surrounded by a large canal (kinda like a moat) and a wall (more like a grassy hill) and has the original gates that would have been the only access into the town. 

I think I can confirm a sneaky suspicion I had about myself. I'm a complete small town person, I like the simplicity, the peacefulness, the charm and history of smaller towns. Okay so Bruges is a total tourist town;  with tourists (in summer) exceeding the number of Flemish people in old town, but it's still incredible.  

One of the few gates reamining. 

Old houses and cobblestone streets

Burg square

A lolly and chocolate shop

Being In such a magnificent place I started questioning it’s authenticity. I thought, maybe it’s like Disneyland where you are fooled into this illusion buy the fact that the staff never break character when they are walking around;  you don’t see how the rides work and you don’t see behind the shop facades. But no matter how hard I looked around Bruges, I still couldn’t find the headless Minny and Mickey mouse hiding in a dark alleyway; sitting on beer crates sharing a cigarette and gulping their triple shot espressos. Bruges was in fact, a real Belgium city!

After wondering around in the morning in Bruges main squares, I headed across town (You can walk everywhere in Bruge, it's so tiny) with my backpacks to my couchsurfers place.
The view from my room

I have my own bedroom, wardrobe, dresser, and ab King Pro (not like I'm going to use it though!)
Albert is a fantastic host!! He works at the port at security and is involved in the local council. On arrival he gave me a quick run down on the place and took me on a walking tour of Bruge...

Minnewater Lake

Convent - Very quiet with hundreds of daffodils

We stopped off at one of the few breweries that are located within the old town part of Bruge, and had a nice cold beer. This one has one several awards throughout Australia and Canada. Now that's a beer glass!!

Canals of Bruge

Inside Our Lady Church

More Canals with the afternoon sun.

The Belfry in the background 

Bruge's city hall


That evening Albert prepared a delicious meal which was slow cooked beef with an iceburg lettuce salad, grated carrots, and fries, washed down with another locally brewed beer. There was so much food I just had to stuff myself till I couldn't walk, otherwise it would just be thrown out! A good day I must say. 


  1. Dont forget small town pubs... you love those too (darfield pub).

    1. Hahaha, too right! Yes, got to love those small town pubs..;)

  2. This post has made me wonder why I've never been. You really have a way of capturing an interesting mix of subjects.