18 February, 2010

Medieval Spell: Bruges

"There is this movie: Lost in Bruges, you should watch it before you go there." 
That's the respond I got from at least three people when I told them that two of my friends, Cumaziye & Denitsa, and I would go for a one day visit to Bruges. 

I ended not seeing the movie (too busy writing paper for our last module), but loving the city. 

The first thing I noticed about Bruges: 

Petite town, line of old brick houses and medieval buildings. Upon strolling around the city (that can easily be done by foot), I could not help to think about Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel and Beauty & the Beast. The town looks exactly like the background setting in those bed time stories.

The things I did in Bruges: 

Sightseeing of course. There is no better way to explore Bruges than by utilizing your shoes. I enjoyed walking between Bruges' many alleys with line of old brick buildings and cute little shops. 

Three of use managed to pass the Katelijnestraat -- Steenstraat with its St. Salvator's Cathedral -   Roezenhoedkaai with its beautiful view and canal -  Dweerstraat - the Markt with its long colorful buildings and then visited Bruge's famous chocolate museum, Choco-Story, not far from the city's Royal City Theater.

I firstly imagined something like Tim Burton's Willy Wonka movie, turned out, Choco-Story is a serious museum. Despite we were fed on chocolate history and documentary (we also ended watching a documentary about chocolate), it was not all boring though, because the best part of Choco-Story lies on its ground floor. Where visitors could see statues made from chocolate and see chocolate making demonstrations. This shallow lady favorite from all was, of course, the museum's shop. All nice and warm. 

The thing about the food:

Three things cross my mind upon Belgium food are: chocolate, frites and waffle. The three of us know that to have a cheap yet fulfilling snacks in Bruges is to buy ourselves frites with mayo. But I never into big fries like Belgium type of frites, and it was a cold 2 degree winter, obviously too cold to eat outside. 

"Too cold to eat outside, it's nice if can rest our leg in a cafe and have something to drink," says Denitsa.

"We should try Belgium waffle while in here," says Cumaziye.

It was almost three when we finally settle to a place that not too expensive yet quite nice and warm with light wooden furniture. I had waffle with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup while Cumaziye ordered waffle with strawberry toppings and strawberry ice cream. We both had chocolate milk for drink. While Denitsa ordered lunch menu and had beer. 

The thing I was most impressed with:

The ancient medieval architecture of course. Bruges indeed is a very old town, started to form during the Pre-Roman Gaul era and by 19th century was one of the world's earliest tourist destination. In 1909, an association called Bruges Forward: Society to Improve Tourism was built. 

If anyone ever asks how I describe Bruges in one line, it's this: European traditional.