The final stop on my Belgian tour took me to the medieval town of Bruges. Well known for it’s architecture dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, Bruges escaped much of the bombing during the World Wars, preserving the charm of this now-huge tourist destination.
The train station is not quite a mile from the center of town so I walked with my little suitcase to my accommodations for the next 3 nights. However, I got all checked and my room hadn’t been cleaned so instead of waiting around, they asked if I could come back in a while so I took a nice long walk around Bruges (while they held my luggage of course). The lighting was perfect and I got my bearings.
My favorite find was one not in the guidebook. In one of the many canals there was a giant whale leaping out of the water. It looked really cool so I stopped for some photos. Luckily a nearby café had WIFI and I found out the whale is made from 5 tons of ocean plastic waste. The 38 foot tall whale is art but also a reminder to be cognizant of what we consume and where it all ends up. And this piece of art is very functional too! Reduce, reuse, recycle!
A mid-walk rest in a cute little square for some WIFI and a Kasteel rouge (cherry) beer. Fruit beers are fun! It is a strong beer so it isn’t huge which is a good thing, I haven’t had dinner yet! One of the cool things about Belgium is that each beer has it’s own specific glass to be served in. I definitely enjoyed the ambiance appropriate glassware adds to the Belgian beer drinking experience. Much better than a random Miller Lite pint glass for anything you may be ordering.
There was a giant Friday night outdoor party in a square a half a block from my room and it was fun! Food vendors, wine and beer, and a hilarious cover band. Think 60 year old Belgians singing George Michael, Janis Joplin, and Madonna.
Everyone parked their bikes along the streets and danced, drank, and sang along until 10pm. If I opened the windows in my place I could hear the music too.
Speaking of my room, I went back to see if housekeeping had finished up yet. Except they forgot to clean my room and went home for the day! Everyone felt bad so I was quickly upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite for the night! Score!
Best of all the suite had a washer/dryer in it so I purchased some detergent and did a load. Sometimes it is the little things like clean clothes on vacation that really make me happy! I was very proud of myself for getting the washer to start and not destroy my clothes as well since the languages of the buttons were nothing I could comprehend. I was living on the edge.
It was a fun and eventful first day in Bruges. Even though loads of tourists crowd the streets and restaurants, it is a gem!