Vacation Photos: Bruges, pt 1

We spent almost 3 days in Bruges. Initially, we wanted to fill the Saturday between Bruges and Brussels with an overnight stay in a castle in the Belgian countryside, but it became nearly impossible once we encountered fully-booked lodgings and really overpriced, 3-day-minimum car-rentals. Thankfully, we liked Bruges enough after two days that we decided to stay a third (though that was a headache in itself, since the Procession of the Holy Blood was that week, which we didn’t know until we arrived in town and found that every bus was being detoured, fun!, and nowhere in Bruges had any vacancies. We magically landed a night here, literally half a block down from our amazing apartment rental, and it was the best-smelling hotel I’ve ever stayed in.) I sort of wanted to take a train back to Ghent for the afternoon. We also wanted to rent bikes and head to Damme, but a combination of rain, exhaustion, and general vacation-laziness caught up to us. Next time.

Bruges is more crowded and a lot more tourist-filled than Ghent, but has no shortage of amazing architecture and winding canals. We had waffles from street vendors and split a giant cone of frites with mayonnaise. We even went grocery shopping and made dinner one night in our apartment. We bought a museum pass and visited the Groeninge Museum, climbed all 366 steps in the Belfry, visited Sint-Janshospitaal, and the Jerusalem Chapel and Lace Museum (lace is huge in Belgium). I’m considered a youth pretty much everywhere in Europe since I’m 25, so everything was cheaper for me, but the museum pass paid for itself after 1 museum and the Belfry for both of us. I’d recommend it if you’re huge museum nerds like us.

See that window on the left? Notice anything in it?  

That dog sat there day and night. Fitz would have drowned within minutes.

Having lunch and playing chess in the oldest bar in Bruges (it’s been in operation since 1515!). Boyfriend: “Why don’t you wait until we’re further along in the game?” Me: “Because in a few moves I’ll be losing so I’d rather just document it now.”

Tomorrow, part 2! A very water-filled post.

21 thoughts on “Vacation Photos: Bruges, pt 1

  1. I love that that dog has it’s on cushion! Cute :)
    It’s so pretty there, I had no idea at all. I love that you managed to take photos that don’t have any people in whatsoever so it looks like it’d deserted. Really pretty.
    Chess? You are so civilised playing that on holiday.
    I know you had rain which sucks on your holiday but that purple sky is beautiful.
    Keep them coming chicken! xx

    1. Thank you! I tried really hard to not get people in most of my shots. This often resulted in us standing in the same spot for 5 minutes waiting for everyone to move the f out of the way, haha. It was a struggle but worth it!

      It only rained a bit in Bruges, surprisingly! For maybe 10-15 minutes, and then it cleared out as fast as it’d come in. It was overcast and chillier than Paris, though. All of Belgium was, to be fair. And yes, we’re total nerds and play chess on vacation. If you ever get to that cafe, we signed the underside of the chess board! xo

  2. Hey love, I’m sorry I’m a bit behind on leaving comments. I think I rather like Bruges more than Ghent, at least from what I’m seeing in your photographs. Those multi-coloured buildings are cute – are they homes ? It’s a bit difficult to tell. I bet they are lovely inside, interesting spaces. Judging by the Chess game and your change of itinerary, you seemed to have relaxed a bit here, which is nice to see. So what did you cook? Did you stuff that chicken ?

    Check out boyfriend in his smart denim *wink* xx

    1. Oh, no worries darling! Not at all. Bruges is sweet, isn’t it? Those are all homes, yes! Wouldn’t you just love to live in them? Some of them are apartments now but a lot of them are still single-family homes and most of them face canals. Can you imagine?

      We definitely relaxed a bit more, I think we had no choice to though! We were beat by this part of the trip. We (I say “we” but I mean “Boyfriend”) made chicken in a white wine and lemon sauce and asparagus with bernaise sauce. We also had mini-toasts with goat cheese and salami for a starter. And a big bottle of wine :) It was a lovely dinner.

  3. CH would have chewed the pillow then fell out the window.
    Love, love, love the photos! Hey, Trader Joe’s sells those crackers!

    1. For everyone else: CH = Crackhead. My mom’s adorable nickname for my lunatic of a dog.

      Thanks, moo!

  4. Bruges is FAB! Except now when i hear the name I always think of that film! Love the little doggy just chilling in the window, so cute!!

    1. Haha, us too! We watched that movie before we left. The town looks way different than the movie portrayed it, weirdly.

  5. OMGEEEEEE! The purple! The sweet doggie! (ours would totally fall out too) The canals! I loved every single photo in this post. So smart of you to relax and be flexible. Years and years ago when we were in Bavaria (Cal was 15 months old, *that’s* how long ago that was) we stayed in a tiny apartment and made our meals there. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Simple, delicious dinners of bread and sausage and of course beer. I’m tickled that you reignited that memory for me.

    1. Hahah I’m totally picturing you squealing. And yeah, you have 3 doggies to worry about! They’d be like dominos. Plunk plunk plunk. I’m really amazed that dog just sat there so calmly all day. It was definitely “his” spot.

      Bavaria!!? Sounds so cool! And kudos to you for traveling with a 15 month old. Wow. Cooking at home makes everything seem more fun. Not that I would know because I sat on the sofa and drank wine.

  6. Oh, I had the same thought as Annie that the town looked empty. From your photos, Bruges looks quaint and peaceful. I love that you two cooked dinner in your apartment. I bet it almost felt like you were permanently living there. Sigh…
    Loved the dog in the window and the home with the deep purple trim. Can’t wait for the water photos. No doubt you captured some beautiful shots.

    1. I definitely tried to weed out the tourists and make it look quiet! Haha, not an easy task in itself. But thank you! It really did feel like we were “locals,” going shopping at the grocery store and then stopping at a bar with our bags on the way home. If only!


  7. Oh, Bruges looks so cute! I want to move into the house with the purple windows/doors and the matching tree in front ;) And you guys ate white asparagus. So yummy!

    Something totally unrelated to this post but did you see the new Old navy commercial with Jordan Knight? I might have squealed in delight last night when I saw it and P looked at me like I was crazy, and I thought I used my inside voice ;) Happy weekend!

    1. White asparagus are HUGE over there! They’re everywhere, on every menu. All the time, guaranteed. Even in Paris! We figured we better make them ourselves and see what all the fuss is about :) Verdict: delicious!

      You should have seen how wide my eyes got when I read that part about Jordan Knight. Oh my god! I don’t even know how to react to that commercial. Hahah, how random! Your story was so funny :)

  8. Bruges looks elegant and serene. I love the pops of colour you captured.
    I can’t swim (I have a rather annoying fear of drowning) so the dog over the canal is making me really nervous! He does look very sweet and comfy, though. :)

    Dinner for two in your lovely apartment sounds like such bliss – so romantic!
    The white asparagus reminds me of our weekend in Berlin. One of the girls was desperately trying to find some to take back to the UK for her German Mum so I guess they’re huge in Germany too. :D

    Leisurely holidays are the best, aren’t they? x

  9. I’ve been to Paris half a dozen times, but these photos make this city seem so much more charming and quaint!

  10. I like the dog photo. And the one with the purple flowers and windows and door is so colour coordinated.

  11. For everyone who would like to know, the dog is called Fidel. He must be Bruges’ most famous dog by now :) since he is practically getting photographed by every tourist who notices him or is driving by on a boat trip.

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