I remember watching the movie ‘In Bruges’, with Colin Farrell. I admit I never finished it, I thought it was a lousy film, but the scenery was great. I knew I wanted to see Bruges and experience it for myself. The train ride was only 90 minutes, and I was so excited I started walking the wrong way towards the suburbs. When I got back on track, it was only a 10 minute walk from the train station to the hotel. It was a very nice hotel, great staff. The room was very small, enough for one person but no more. I threw my bags down in the room, and went out to experience a Friday night in Bruges. The main square was about a half mile walk from my hotel. It was slightly touristy, but I found a place to eat…I had skipped lunch expecting a big meal in Bruges so I was starving. I ended up getting rabbit, prunes, potatoes and applesauce. Interesting combination, not sure I’d recommend it! Anyway, I walked back to the hotel refreshed. It felt good being in such a nice city, full of English speakers so I wasn’t just a forgotten person in the corner, I could actually communicate with most everyone I met. I had a few tough recent weeks in Mons getting used to the new job, I smiled tonight knowing things were turning around. The highlight of my trip had to be the football match, Club Brugge vs. Leuven. I walked the 3 miles to the stadium, and the tickets were cheap. It reminded me of a Steelers game, frigid, everyone in their cold weather gear drinking beer. Brugge pushed it the whole game, scoreless at half but you knew they’d break through…they ended up winning 3-1. The walk back was harsh, wind had picked up and my scarf was doing me no good. I ended up stopping in at a Flemish bar along the way for a shot of Jameson’s to warm me up.
The next day, I went to the fried potato museum, I thought that was interesting as it’s definitely Belgium’s national food…I got a steak at restaurant that afternoon and they brought be a plate of ‘frites’ with it, which are basically fries.
The walk up the belfry stairs wasn’t bad, and I’m not bragging as if I’m in shape. It says 300 stairs, but you reach the top relatively quick. Beautiful view of the city from the top. I’ll be back here…like the movie said ‘it’s like a fairytale’ with all the canals. Maybe so, but I’ll wait till fall, I’ve heard with the tourists it’s like a mob scene in the summer.