travel diary – bruges – getting there and the first evening

…. so now I’m one year old and not much wiser, but it’s what it’s!!!!

When I lived in Dover, so often I had a chance I took Hoverspeed over to Ostende and then the short train journey to the beautiful and SO romantic city of Bruges in Belgium. It must be about 15 years since I visited Bruges last time and then with my girlfriend Anna Liisa. When we sat on the train back to Brussel she said I would love to come back here … and so we did now in September, to also celebrate my birthday. 

We flew from Copenhagen’s airport, Kastrup with Brussel Airlines … cheap and good, we paid about 90 Euros for pre-booked seats and 23 kilos of luggage included. Fantastic price. 

A very early start in Landskrona … up 5.30am – but we manage to catch an earlier train to Kastrup – which was good, because at Malmö Central Station there was a security issue with the last wagons on the train and we had to move forward in the train which was already packed – but most of the times in crises I have my head where it should be and I notice another train for Copenhagen coming in, so we jumped on that instead and got great seats.  

We had plenty of time at the airport – the check in and security control was done in less than 30 min. So plenty of time for breakfast and window shopping. Kastrup is a very expensive airport … I find most airports are those days. Especially when it comes to eating and drinking. 

Flight on time .. landed on time!!! I have only used the train station once before at Brussel airport, but I remembered exactly where to find it. We had booked our tickets online – 65+ tickets, that is only for day trips and cost 11.40 Euros. A normal ticket would have cost us 42 Euros – return. So I booked 2-day trip tickets – one for arrival and one for departure and the total came to 22.80. Very strange pricing, but so long as I could beat the system. 

I don’t know what museum they had taken our train from, but it was truly old. Belgium that is the train nation of the world … and they use trainers older than me and the train do 3 stops in Brussels and 1 in Ghent, so this old train was packed .. and no storage for luggage. We arrived with a 30 min delays in Burge, but we had a great company of locals … that kept the journey very enjoyable.

Taxi to the apartment … and what a taxi, never seen a car like that. I didn’t understand when I asked the driver what brand the car was but I’m sure it was a Tesla Model X – with Falcon doors. Shining black with dark grey interior and leather seats. I fell in love!!!!

Our apartment at Bonobo Apartment Hotel just perfect for us two – very clean, fresh … and had everything we needed for our stay. Two comfortable beds up stairs and a big bathroom with a great shower. Open planning downstair plus a patio … TV with over 40 channels … and a coffee machine, no freezer and dishwasher, but for 5 nights who needs that???!!!!! It also has secured private parking. 

Locate at Goezeputstraat 5, just behind the cathedral – main shopping street and 5 min walk to the Markt, so in the middle of the historical part of the city.        

So soon we had unpacked and got a good cup of coffee … free!!! … was it time for shopping breakfast stuff .. and it was about 3 min walk to the nearest Carrefour Express.

After a short nap … was it time to take on Bruges by night – with some great food and wine. There isn’t much action at night in Bruges .. after 10pm you hardly see anyone around. A few tourist maybe.

Mussels were on our wish list for the first evening and one of the most famous mussel places just 5 min walk from our apartment, Poules Moules. The only restaurant that serves mussels the whole year round and opens every day of the week. It Bruges is very common that restaurants are closed Monday and Tuesday.  Also most restaurants close 10pm.

Had pre-booked table online and every table was busy. Very nice little restaurant with great service. I went for mussels in coconut milk with ginger, coriander, garlic and chilli. It was “disappearingly” good … and for dessert, a classic chocolate mousse served in a “little” jar.

After dinner, we took a walk down to The Markt … I wanted to try to get some evening shots of the magnificent buildings. Wasn’t the easiest job, because they are big and bright. 

The Markt has been used as a marketplace since 958, and a weekly market was held here from 985. The most striking building is without any doubt The Belfry of Bruges (above). A medieval bell tower in the centre of Bruges. One of the city’s most prominent symbols. The belfry was added to the market square around 1240. Today the bells number is 47, together weighing about 27.5 tonnes.

Provinciaal Hof (Provincial Palace) – This imposing building was constructed in two phases (1887-1892 and 1914-1921) and refers to the Gothic façades of the town hall of Bruges and Gruuthuse Palace. Renowned artists such as Hendrik and Gustaaf Pickery carried out the interior decoration, the stained-glass windows and the ironwork. The building on the left side was originally intended to be the governor’s residence.

But from our bedroom’s sky window, we had the most amazing night view – the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. Its tower, at 115 metres in height

 “Bruges is a beautiful medieval city almost untouched by time.
If you like jazz, you will be well catered for.
If you like chocolate and beer, you will be in heaven.”
James Frain   


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