Chocolate, beer and frites—I wonder what attracted us to Bruges! My husband Robert and I loved the “Sleeping Beauty” of Europe. Strolling around Burg Square, with its distinctive tiered, pointed buildings, was like taking a step back in time.

Mini-Cruise to Bruges

We travelled to Bruges from Rosyth near Edinburgh, by ferry to Zeebrugge. It was an overnight boat that was like a mini cruise—the interior was quite plush and we had a cabin each way, so we could get a decent night’s sleep.

Once in Bruges, we used a variety of transport. We took a leisurely canal cruise liner and a romantic horse-and-carriage ride, which seemed more in keeping with the surroundings than cars or buses. Feet back on the ground, we went on a walking tour with a local guide, an interesting and humorous elderly gentleman called Andrew. He took us round all of the major sights, including the Church of Our Lady with its Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo.

 

A Culinary Journey

Many of the city’s attractions are culinary: we went to the Choco-Story museum; we also joined the De Halve Maan brewery tour—in both cases, we sampled their wares! The great thing about stopping for a coffee in Bruges is that it often comes with a selection of exquisite chocolates. Very civilised.

As well as a lovely city in its own right, Bruges is a good base for visiting other places. We spent a day exploring coastal towns such as Ostend, with its dried fish hanging from seafront stalls. We also visited Blankenberge, which was a trip down memory lane for Robert, who’d been there on a school trip. On the day we visited Brussels, the tiny Manneken Pis (the statue of the boy who saved their city by peeing on a fire) was dressed up in an Elvis jumpsuit, marking the anniversary of the King’s death.

We’d love to return to Bruges. Next time, I’d like to travel to Lille by train and see Ghent and Antwerp. In fact, I think I’ve just sorted out where to go for our next holiday.

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