Take A Break… In Bruges!

With university classes starting today Summer is officially over. The day after I finished work, though, I was up at 4:30am to finish packing and catch a train to Ashford. Why would I do that to myself you ask? Well, four very good reasons: chocolate, waffles, beer and fries! That’s right, I’m finally writing about my long-awaited trip to Bruges!

Why Bruges?

Ok, I didn’t go just for waffles (or did I?). Me and my sister GiGi wanted to do something special for my mum and dad’s birthdays, so we sneakily planned a whole holiday without them suspecting much – we had to ask them to get some days off work, but mum told us later she thought we were just sending them to Bournemouth. We wanted to show them how much we appreciated and in August, on my dad’s birthday, we revealed that in September, on mum’s birthday, we’d be heading to Bruges three wonderful nights!

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Day One & Two

(Jump to the end for photos of beautiful Bruges!)

Day one started super early for me, but after giving a sleep Ben a kiss goodbye I was on my way to Ashford to meet the rest of the clan for a Eurostar to Brussels and then a local train to Bruges. And after a few hours we were in Bruges, it took a bit of time getting to the apartment we were staying at, but I get confused just trying to find my lecture theatres.

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We stayed at the lovely Breydelhof Apartments, GiGi had stayed before and I can see why she wanted to come back – they were beautiful decorated and equipped with everything you need. We relaxed for a while in our apartment (called ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which made insanely happy) and then headed for a short walk around Bruges. The main squares are all within 3 minute walk of the apartment which was brilliant! We stocked up on some food from the supermarket and headed back to spend some time together and cook.

Bruges, at weekends, is very busy and also not a cheap place to eat. We ended up not having any big meals out and instead returned back to the apartment for lunch for a few hours each day, which also gave us a nice break from the crowds.

bruges4For our second day in Bruges we were up and out the door around 9am, beating the crowds and getting some great photos! We planned to visit the old hospital but it didn’t open until 9:30am so we headed to The Begijnhof, home to the Sisters of the religious St Benedict Order. The trees had been bent from the wind and, despite there being a few other earlier risers there, it was incredibly silent. We also found a cat #holidaycompleted

We were at the hospital for it’s opening, and knowing how busy Bruges is I’d definitely recommend heading out early so you can really appreciate all of these beautiful places! Along with entrance to the hospital you also get access to the apothecary, which was really interesting.

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After collecting some delicious cakes (I’d highly recommend the Carpe Diem Bakery!) and enjoying them back at the apartment we headed back out for a boat ride – there are plenty of points to catch a boat from so look around for a less busy one!

The boat ride was a great way to see Bruges – and our guide was brilliant and little sarcastic so he suited us perfectly! Once we were back on dry land we headed to the square for some fries and enjoyed them under the Belfry. After some more wandering and a little bit of shopping (as well as the many chocolate shops and souvenir shops there are some fabulous Christmas shops!)

We headed back to the apartment around 5 and stayed out in the small garden to enjoy some Belgian beers in the sunny, 24 degree heat!

My post on Day 3 and 4 will be out next Monday!

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