brugge: romantic streets, waffles, medievil architecture
I can't tell you how many people told me to go to Brugge (also spelled Bruges). I left Amsterdam early in the morning to catch a train via Paris. I was supposed to get off in Antwerp to catch another train (the IC) to Brugge, but instead, I was woken up by a woman in Brussels telling me I was in her seat. "Where are we?" I asked.
"We are on the way to Paris."
I missed my stop! I immediately got up, grabbed my stuff, and ran to try to open the door of the train, but it was too late. A nice French man saw how distressed I was and immediately tried to help by speaking to one of the conductors and explaining that I had slept through my stop. He said once I get to Paris I could get a train back to Belgium.
The thought crossed my mind to just stay in Paris, but I REALLLLLY wanted to go to Brugge. So after 9 hours of traveling in total, I FINALLY made it to Brugge! I was there for two (well, one) full day. Here are some snapshots:
Okay, I might get flack for saying this, but I don't really taste the difference between Belgian chocolates and others I've had. They tasted good, yes, but they weren't mind-blowingly better. Sorry! Same goes for the fries (although, having them with mayo is surprisingly good).
There are two types of waffles in Belgium: there's the Liege waffle (pictured above) which is heavier than a Belgian waffle (a.k.a. a Brussels waffle). Liege waffles are more dessert-like, made with a heavy dough and sugar crystals that melt when they are pressed in the waffle maker. It comes out of the maker with a sugary glazed finish and has rough edges.
I remember trying one in the U.S. once and found it to be too sweet. This was also very sweet/ the ice cream didn't help, but it tasted really fresh. I have yet to try the typical Belgian waffle, which is not as sweet, made with batter and not dough, and is usually square or rectangular in shape. To be honest, I'm getting a little sick of waffles. I might try and find a savory one instead before I leave Belgium.
The Markt had lots of restaurants with outdoor seating and beer as well as its famed 12th-century Belfry (not pictured).
If you ever go to Brugge, I recommend Poules Moules - they have really fresh seafood and typical Belgian dishes like mussels and frites (a.k.a. moules frites), or chicken dishes (poules). Soups and stews are also "typical" dishes served in Belgium, so I went with this Boullabaise. No regrets.
Even though I probably should've saved myself the trouble going all the way back here from Paris and losing pretty much a day of travel, I'm glad I went back! This was one of my favorite small cities so far and is definitely a place I'd go back to one day.
Until next time,
P.S. - I have some catching up to do re: posts. London, Galway/Southern Ireland, Amsterdam, and Antwerp are on my list to write about!