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Snippets of life, Travel tales

Bruges: The Hidden Charm of Belgium

canal tour

Most people will go to Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven, Liège, or even Ghent when they visit Belgium. Not many know that this little town has so much to offer, probably more than other cities ever do. This town is located in Flemish Region, one station away from Ostend, 20 minutes by train from Ghent. For youngsters, Bruges might be a little too quiet, but I like it just as much. Being here is like being transported to the old time, with ancient architecture and people.

I think one of the main attractions here is the canals. Bruges is often called ‘Mini Venice’ for those canals. Of course, it’s not as extravagant as Venice, but it works just fine for me. The magnificent Belfry Tower, located in the Town Square, is also the other interest. This tower has bells that would be rang in the ancient time for different reasons, for example to notify the people when there was enemy approaching. One little fact, this tower is tilting to one side, although not as much as Pisa Tower.

When I say that Bruges is a little town, I mean it. And by little I mean really, really tiny. In high season, the native people are outnumbered by the tourists. My hostel owner said, “You can go to every corner in Bruges in just one day.” This wasn’t an exaggeration. In just one day, I got all that covered, from the canal tour, seeing a beautiful lake called Minnewater, going in and out some chapels and museums, and going up to Belfry Tower (which was very exhausting. No kidding).

church

Town Square

Godiva Chocolate

Canal

swans

Belfry Tower at night

Grote Markt

Fingers crossed for going back here someday, the most memorable town I’ve visited, among Prague and Barcelona.

Bruges’ trivia: The British black comedy movie In Bruges was filmed in here, starring Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, and Clémence Poésy. It became the opening film in 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

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