Traveling keeps my mind alert, my spirit alive and my curiosity perpetuated. Unfortunately, it also makes me eat too much, indulge too often and blow my budget. Bruges, the quaint little town in Belgium, was especially guilty for the former shortcoming. Do I need to stress that Bruges is considered the chocolate capital of the world? Well, guilty as charged - but still, every single moment was worth the guilty pleasures in this beautiful little medieval Belgian town.
In Bruges I spent a relaxed and very sunny weekend back in February. It was unusually mild and ideal for a full discovery of the old town: Bruges is rather compact and small so you can see most of the old medieval town by foot. Moreover, Bruges is known as the 'Venice of the North' and is enwrought with canals and thus perfect to discover by boat, too. Most boat trips take around 25 minutes and lead you around the central parts of Bruges where you will behold landmark sights like the famous Belfry, the Beguinage or the Groenerei. Almost all boat trips depart from the popular Rozenhoedkaai. Even though it can get pretty busy here, it is a wonderful place to take a break and enjoy a coffee under the sun in the cute little 'Café 'T Klein Venetie' - little Venice café. Obviously!
The central square of Bruges called 'Markt' features a whole line-up of colorful town houses in the typical Flemish architecture as well as the impressive 'Provinciaal Hof'. Walking from the canals to the central square takes just five minutes but be warned - in these five minutes you will pass around a dozen chocolate boutiques in only one street (and believe me, there are many, many more in the surrounding streets)! It is almost a little (pleasant) torture to walk by and not actually pop into any chocolaterie on your way. I succumbed to the temptations and brought back a little mountain of divine Belgian chocolates. Real chocoholics will also head to the museum 'Choco Story' which includes a live chocolate manufacturing session at the end including tasting.
One of the benchmark chocolatiers in Belgium, Dominique Persoone, runs a boutique called 'The Chocolate Line' where you will find the most experimental concoctions with chocolate - you can even buy chocolate to sniff. Why not - after all chocolate is almost a sort of (good and legal) drug! As an interiors blogger I couldn't help but notice the charming Dille & Kamille store right next door - it is a Dutch kitchenware brand with a lovely selection of products.
If you ever consider visiting Bruges for a romantic getaway I can warmly recommend the charming hotel 'De Tuileriëen' which is located just in front of the main canal Dijver and an excellent starting point for all discoveries. Moreover, this luxurious and noble residence stems from the 15th century and has dreamy interiors - you will be taken away when taking a tea in the salon with an open fire place. I felt a bit like in Downton Abbey.
But enough daydreaming for today - back to Monday and a new and hopefully happy week! Have a great one!
Photography by Igor Josifovic