Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas In Bruges

Yes, this is late... in December a group of Kiwis in London journeyed in the wee small hours to catch a coach to Belgium - Bruge to be specific - for the annual Christmas markets.

For anyone who has seen, and loved, the movie In Bruges the city holds a certain serious and humourous appeal.

Our day started ridiculously early - I had to be at Victoria by 6:30am - because we were making the journey to and from Belgium in one day.

From London to Dover, Dover to Calais and Calais to Bruges we rode into town on the Phoenix Tours' bus.

The two drivers were lovely and in a good mood, laughing and joking all the way.

However, the tour guide was not quite right.

I'm not sure how this guy ever got the job. He was less of a guide and more of a rambling old man. He said he'd been doing it for years but his circular and boring stories would have put the hardiest traveller to sleep let alone a bunch of 20 somethings.

Just before arriving at our destination we paid a visit to a Belgian Chocolate factory - need I say more!

On a side note, we were meant to travel the week before but thanks to a massive dumping of snow our trip was postponed.

By midday we were rolling into town, through a largely industrial area to the tall trees on the outskirts of the historic old town.

It's hard to describe Bruges without using a lot of cheesy and romantic words... beautiful, breath-taking, peaceful, magical, fairy-tail town.

All these descriptions are true, but the influx of visitors for the markets meant it was a little less peaceful.

Along with friends Kathy and Becca we made our way through the small village. With so many ornate buildings, stalls, shops and decorations it was hard to know where to look.

First we stopped for a look in some Christmas decoration shops. The ornaments were handmade and expensive - but it's free to look.

Next we sampled the local mulled wine and made our way through the first of two market squares.

The old town is fairly compact and it doesn't take long to cover the main area on foot.

The main market is the centre of the square in front of the Church of Our Lady. There an ice-rink is surrounded by stalls selling food, produce and Christmas themed goodies.

Here we tucked into some tasty banana fritters. Ummmmm!

Kath decided she wanted to join the overly long queue to climb the church tower while Becca and I went sightseeing. You'd have to be a pretty big Grinch not to get caught up in the Christmas Spirit in this town.

After a day shopping, eating and walking we were exhausted. In early evening we were back on our bus making the long journey back to London.

More photos of Bruges here!

No comments:

Post a Comment