I took a cheap RyanAir flight from Zaragoza, met up with my partner Peggy in Brussels and caught the next train to Bruges, just an hour away.
Bruges is a small city but swells from heavy tourism. It would be interesting to know how much of its popularity is a result of the movie, In Bruges.
The cobblestone streets wind along canals, over every type of drawbridge imaginable and through ancient archways. Every window box and bridge hanging pot overflows with flowers and the town is spotless. All of this makes for a picture-perfect scene at every corner, none of which is captured well by photos.
Our BnB was in a historic home and was like staying in an antique shop, which was lovely except anytime we delicately creaked up 3 flights of stairs and fumbled with skeleton keys to get to our room. If our breakfast of everything Belgian were split into 3 meals, it would probably suffice for the day!
We hired bikes at our BnB and ventured toward smaller towns along the canal. The countryside plains were just as picturesque.
In the US, if you’re in anything but a car on the streets,
you’re considered a nuisance, but in Belgium if you’re driving a car, you are considered the problem. After all, cars are loud, deadly, dirty, and promote being sedentary, while walking and biking do none of these things. Drivers slam the brakes and wait patiently, sometimes for several small groups to pass at the many intersections. Very different than riding around Pittsburgh.
The trail was flat and shady and the bikes were comfortable, so we rode past dairy farms and windmills all the way to Sluis, a town in Holland about 20km from Bruges. No passport check, since it’s all EU.
There was a triathlon in Sluis so the banks were filled with people camping, fishing, and cheering on the swimmers.
It was a pretty perfect day!
There are a lot more photos far below.
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