And today, I take you to Bruges – a city which has no sightseeing points but is still named as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The entire city is a spectacle – a sight to behold – it’s like one fine painting where every stroke was done with a lot of detailing but more so love.
I reached Bruges in the dead of night. From the train station, it took roughly 30 minutes to walk to the historic city center. The picture you see above was my first view of the city. Guess what, it was the love at the first sight.
Next few days passed away like a breeze. Most people visit Bruges for a day or two and there I was who could have spent an entire lifetime walking around this little joy.
Bruges has been really lucky as far as historical sites are concerned, none of its medieval attractions was damaged during the two world wars. Walking on the cobbled streets to the sights of medieval architecture and sounds of the horse-drawn carriages, it felt like I had time traveled to middle ages.
The other thing I loved about Bruges for was its canals and bridges. Bruges resembles the Italian Venice minus the gondolas. I prefer Bruges over Venice (YES!!! I have visited both) for the canals and lakes of Bruges are surrounded by extraordinarily picturesque facades and manicured waterfronts.
These channels are home to delightfully regal and graceful swans.
It is believed that citizens started raising and feeding swans after they were punished by Emperor Maximilian-I for wrongly killing his advisor Peter Lanchals. In memory of Lanchals (meaning ‘the long neck’ ), he asked his people make sure swans live in Bruges forever.
A visit to Bruges is something I totally recommend. There are some places that deserve to be visited for the charm and warmth they extend. Picturesque canals, cosy streets, garden of Love, towers, bridges, water rides, churches, swans, restaurants, and chocolate shops; it’s difficult to understand why world took so much time to discover Bruges.
So if Bruges is in your bucket list, here are some quick suggestions:
- The city is not meant for big crowds so book your stay beforehand.
- Please, please, please take the boat tower. You might feel it is touristy, but it is a wonderful way of discovering Bruges. Not expensive (6.40 euros for a ride), it will take you to corners otherwise unreachable for not every canal runs next to a street.
P.S. If you are a Bollywood lover there is a big chance you have already seen Bruges and that you still might not ever consider visiting it. A couple of days before, Aamir Khan- starrer PK was being telecasted and it was the first time ever (for me) that I switched off the movie in few minutes. The way the scenes were shot did no justice to a place as unusually beautiful as Bruges. Sorry for being overly sentimental! But what can I do, I have left pieces of my heart everywhere I go and any injustice to these lands bring disappointment to me.