Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Category: Belgium


The typical presentation of Brugge, the one that most come to expect, is that of the fairytale. Gingerbread houses and horsedrawn carriages. Spires, gargoyles, castle facades. 

It’s true that all of that is Brugge. 

But it’s also the quiet, neighborhoods around the corners, the cobblestone streets, narrow and lined with bikes. Running along the river, on the dirt. The silence away from the center, save for the occassional chiming of the bells. 

Not as much a fairytale as a place suspended, between fact and fiction.


This was my third visit to Brugge, my first in the summer. It was a different place – less crowded, slower, warm. Possible, finally, to find (and enjoy) a decent meal.

I’m happy to have had the chance to see this side, to give it another chance.


Beautiful Brugge, my second visit, this time for the Christmas Markets. Fourteen of us made the ferry voyage from England; one travelled via train from Brussels. We were a large group in a small city, and we all had a wonderful time. Disorganized, but together to kickoff the holiday season. Chocolate, beer, waffles, and all.


Little Lissewege, fifteen minutes outside of Brugge via train. It was so quiet and cobbled; sometimes, we felt that we were the only people there. To the market, in the pub, on the platform – we *were* the only people.

Our AirBnb, a renovated cafe, slept all 15 of us comfortably. And that’s what brought us here to this village of which I had previously never heard. An old cafe, a home for the group. A weekend escape from England, only four hours and one ferry ride away, within reach of all.


img_8581 img_8592 img_8595 img_8606 img_8612 img_8615 img_8626 img_8633 img_8644 img_8647 img_8656 img_8680 img_8689

Belgium, magical fantasy land of chocolate, waffles, and beer. When I asked what to expect before we departed on our four-hour journey across the Chunnel, I was told, “Disney World.” I would say that’s accurate. The candy-colored carved houses, the charm – there are even horse drawn carriages! What I didn’t know before we went: apparently Bruges (or Brugge, as it’s spelled locally) was the “New York City” of the medieval era, meaning that it was THE place to be for commerce, art, and idea sharing. The more you know.

We stayed for two nights in the cutest AirBnb and filled our days with eating and drinking everything. The hot chocolate = the best I’ve ever had. At one point, we even drove out to the countryside to this monastery that brews the “best beer in the world.” It was a great little weekend getaway, made even better by the fact that I know it’s so, so easy to literally drive back whenever we want in the future. 

%d bloggers like this: