A few days ago when I realized I had given myself only 5 days to see 4 cities in Belgium, I messaged my friend Anaïk to see what she thought of me skipping Brugge. Her response? ‘You are kidding, right?’ Which aptly quashed my thoughts to skip the city.
And as you could probably tell from my limited post yesterday – Gent (or Ghent in English) has not been a favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful city and I have met five awesome people there – a couple from New Jersey traveling the world like I am; two Aussies who I nerded out with about Australia and traveling; and a really nice American who had the misfortune of losing her passport one week into her month-long trip.
But Gent, as a city, has been very…dead (something they admit was an after effect of a cruel emperor torturing the heads of the city, causing them to leave and all the citizens to follow back in the middle ages.) Nowadays, unless you want to go get drunk with the college kids, there isn’t much to do besides Museums and walking around aimlessly. Brugge is totally different.
Within an hour of getting to Brugge, I randomly found a parade which I followed around to the three big churches (one of which I had gone to and they followed me a few minutes later.)
I ate lunch by the Belfort while being serenaded by the marching band in the square. It was absolutely wonderful.
After lunch I went to an extremely interesting Museum which recreated what the city looked like in the 1400s, and had a virtual reality system which followed the story of how goods got into the port city in the old ages. My heart honestly skipped a beat when the system sent us flying over the city – it said, ‘I hope you are not afraid of heights’ and despite my efforts to get over my fear, unfortunately I still am.
Before leaving the city, I stopped to rest my feet at a little cafe on the way to the train station (which, btw, I have yet to get lost in Brugge. You can follow the crowds everywhere you need to go. And the chocolate!! There were chocolateries everywhere!!) I decided to get a coffee at the cafe, and they happened to have apple beignets. Now, after being first introduced to beignets in New Orleans at Cafe DuMonde, I am super weary of trying them anywhere else. OMG, these apple beignets rivaled Cafe DuMonde!!! Needless to say, I sent a photo of the beignets to my parents to tease them.