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.