Girls’ Day Trip to Brugge

What what, two days IN A ROW?!?!  Who am I, right?  I am going to take us back in time a bit today to last April (2015) when I took a day trip to Belgium with one of my girlfriends.  The travel group here offers all kinds of trips and activities, so we decided to do an extended day trip to Brugge, Belgium.  My friend’s hubby was deployed at the time, so I figured she needed a fun day out without her 3-year-old.  Luckily, I have a fabulous husband who hung out with both Benjamin, who was 5 months at the time, and her 3-year-old for the day.

Since it was an extended day trip, the chartered bus left our area around 3 in the morning.  I think we both tried to sleep on the bus, but I know I was pretty amped up for our mini-getaway, so I don’t think I slept much at all (not to mention I rarely am able to sleep on any sort of vehicle–plane, train, car, or otherwise).

Anyway, the bus took us to the chunnel, which is a channel tunnel running under the English Channel, linking the UK to France.  The bus got on the chunnel near Dover, UK, and off near Calais, France.  From there, it took us the remainder of the way to Brugge, arriving around 10am.

Brugge/Bruges is a city you can instantly fall in love with.  Its cobblestone streets, canals, beautiful architecture, old-Europe charm, and quaint vibe are all so welcoming and lovely, not to mention it has amazing beer, waffles, and chocolate.  I mean really, what else could a gal want?  It would make a perfect romantic getaway; ironically, both times I have been there have been sans hubby.

L and I started the day off right with a breakfast of champions: Belgian waffles topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce, and of course, some coffee [much needed after the bus ride with little to no sleep!].

With full bellies we set off to explore the city.  Brugge isn’t a very big city and we didn’t really have a set plan as far as what we wanted to see or do.  Our first stop ended up being The Church of Our Lady.  Since it was free, we popped in to look around and take some photos of the gorgeous interior.  The church also houses a real Michelangelo , but it was not free so we decided to move along.

*Sidenote: Not to worry, the art teacher in me knew somehow that I would be back and see the sculpture, and I have!  I will post about that another day 🙂

As Brugge is known for its beautiful canals, we decided to take a canal boat tour, which I really enjoyed.  The tour took us through the winding maze of canals, and our boat driver/tour guide gave us some great information about the history of Brugge.  The tour was also a great way to see all of the charming, colorful buildings along the canals.

After our tour, we made our way to market square, the central square in Brugge.  The Belfry of Brugge is the huge bell tower that has been in market square since 1300.  L and I climbed all 366 narrow stairs to the top!  The views were, of course, breathtaking, and we got to see the 47 bells that are played in the tower.

 

We made our way back down to the market square, and had a delicious lunch at a pizza place in the square.  The weather was beautiful, so we sat outside and enjoyed the sights and sounds.  I tried a local beer called “Kwak” which was served in a crazy glass, and was okay, but not as good as some of the Weißbier (wheat beer) I had later in the day.

Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent wandering the cobblestone streets, drinking delicious Belgian beer, stocking up on Belgian chocolate and souveniers, and indulging in yet another Belgian waffle.  At one point, we did find ourselves at a Mexican restuarant (yes, in Belgium!).  L told the waiters it was my birthday {which it had been, a week ago…}, so I got a free shot of *something* (?) with a firecracker rubberbanded to it, as well as free beer glasses!

Finally, we made our way back to the bus after a long day of exploring, getting home late in the evening.  The day trip was a perfect way to see Brugge: we didn’t have to drive or fly (convenient and allowed us to enjoy all that Brugge had to offer in terms of beverages 🙂 ), Brugge is small enough to see most of in a day, and we didn’t have to worry about booking accommodations!  I had such a good time with L and we hope to do another girls day out soon!

 Brugge Travel Journal