So surprised at how much I liked Bruges. I thought it was going to be small. I thought it was going to be boring. I was wrong about that, I was wrong about a lot of things…yes, Legends of the Fall, but you have no soul if you don’t like that movie.

The center area is the “Markt”, guess what that means. It is a huge square that could rival any square in Europe. Tons of patios, tons of old as shit stuff. Perhaps the only downside is this gigantic modern glass sculpture in the center of the square, which I thought was completely out of place. In fact the entire town is doing some modern art expose which I kind of hated. Not only do I hate modern art but come on man, I’m here for medieval. I’m here to prove that Busch Gardens isn’t the only place in Europe you need to go (yeah, Williamsburg VA). Give me some old topped with some old as shit.

The Markt has a centerpiece, the Belfort, which is basically a giant tower with bells and chimes and shit. You can climb to the top and have a wonderful view. You can climb to the top if you aren’t afraid of heights, small spaces, heart attacks, or anything else associated with a steep as hell, old as hell staircase that hardly allows two people to go by. It’s so steep that you can’t see 5 feet in front of you. It’s so steep that if you are not with people you will wonder if those sneaky Belgians have actually devised this plan to trap you in their wily maze. You will wonder if you will like your new life as a slave butter churner, not ideal, though I hear you get a bump after the 5th year. Anyway, I walked up. I thought I was going to die. The way down may have been worse when the stragglers had to get by and I literally had to hang from the rope or balance on a ledge while they walked directly under me. Very interesting stuff, but I definitely didn’t think my parents could do it. It’s the real deal.

Outside of the Markt there is an extremely cool basilica in the “Burg” area, which has almost a hidden door and it’s totally free. The two other tall buildings (besides the Belfort) are both cathedrals. We went in one that had monks chanting..I mean how cool is that. South of the Markt and the cathedrals is a nice walk along canals and such, but it gets fairly boring fairly quickly.

There is chocolate everywhere and there are waffles everywhere. There are musssels for lunch and dinner. There are beers that you have never heard of and smiles all around. The people are amazing, the drinking is non stop, and the place is beautiful, what else do you want. And I would add, how the hell can you not like a culture with so many candy stores. It’s like Willy Wonka took a rainbow shit. It’s wonderful.

Notes to self:

-We did go to this cool restaurant our last night, Cafedraal. Right in the heart of the city, but it had some style man, and great service. Built inside a medieval cathedral, they mixed modern in so well I was pretty damn impressed.
-The train station is not near where you want to be, definitely a cab situation with all of those cobblestones in your future. Our hotel was right next to the Markt and I thought the location was perfect.


Hotel Dukes’ Palace (Sep 2015)