I did my first real travelling solo to Belgium. Being able to get to Brussels by train so easily from London, finding nice prices and, best of all, having still some holidays to take off from work, I thought, what is stopping me? Not having company? Please, I’ve been used to doing things alone for a long time, and it never bothered me before. So let’s do this. Without giving much thought, I bought the tickets. Not going back now. So let’s see what can I do in Belgium. I really wanted to visit Antwerp, but my research shown me that Belgium was much more than stylish Antwerp. There were a few hidden jewels. So, after some hours reading fellow travellers blogs, I decided that in about 4 days, I wanted to visit 4 Belgian cities – Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels.
My first stop was Bruges. I took an Eurostar train from St. Pancras International to Brussels, and from Brussels a train to Bruges. I had read that Bruges was quite touristy, so I was afraid I might find everything too artificial and staged. Well, Bruges for me was like being in a storybook, with enchanted landscapes and an ethereal soul. I’ve never been to Venice, but it did remind me of some imagery I have seen from the city. The canals, with those idyllic stone bridges, the houses by the water. The colors of Autumn made it even more magical. The tones of red, orange, brownish, the leaves carpeting the ground, the evening sunlight. It was just all so perfect for my camera…the trees had all the colours of the wind.
Obviously this was my first stop, so I was completely taken by surprise on the beauty of belgian architecture and plazas. I’ve seen pictures before, and I did my research. However, nothing prepared me for how majestic they could actually be.
And everything was so utterly adorable. The little chocolate shops, the waffles stands, the souvenirs stores, the parks. Bruges might be touristic, but I do understand why. It is indeed beautiful, and I think I benefited from the fact that it’s not high season anymore. I’ve read that in Summer months the amount of tourists in Bruges surpasses its inhabitants! How crazy is this? Such a little town stuffed with tourists…