Well well well, the amount of times I’ve passed through Belgium and even spent the odd weekend there and all this time it was keeping a stunning secret from me, that being the city of Bruges. I should have known as we drove towards Bruges, no horrid highrise suburbs as you get in the other Belgian cities of Antwerp and Brussels. The outskirts of Bruges were already ancient and buildings with real charm. Everything in The Netherlands is so sleek, well kept and modern and while it´s a user friendly country to live in it kind of feels a bit airbrushed and fake and gets tiring after a while. Belgium on the other hand does have run down ruins of buildings even in the city centres and some parts are just crumbling away which I find totally charming – dare I say, even shabby chic!
Bruges is mind blowing, I was awe stuck wandering around and wished i´d had some music on earphones, it´s that kind of place. I needed to hear `Rock me Amadeus` by Falco and then some weird medieval classical music. I never realised in a million years that Belgium was so breathtaking – Bruges is now my favorite city in western Europe, it has even overtook Lisbon where I lived for years.
The charm of Bruges is it feels like a living medieval town, preserved for eternity. It doesn´t have traffic jams, smog, traffic lights on every corner…the only sound you hear are bicycle bells. I would love to go back again on a winters morning and walk through fog….a gothic overload!