The Belgian Trifecta

Since my venture into the countryside worked so well in Amsterdam, and because the trade unions were having a demonstration today in Brussels, I hopped on a train and headed west! The three major tourist towns in Belgium are Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent (I can never keep straight which spellings are English, so sorry if there’s aren’t!). It’s about an hour train from Brussels to Bruges and Ghent is almost exactly halfway in the middle. Perfect! This is also why I opted against Luxembourg, because that’s three hours each way… Too much train for not enough time.

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The long and short of Bruges (Brugge?) is that I want it to be my future summer home. Seriously. The town is adorable. It’s surrounded by a canal that would have boats and there’s a biking/running trail next to it. There are castles by the entrances and cobblestone squares full of cafes. Horse-drawn carriages and winding lanes with colorful row houses. Windmills and bridges and tall churches with bell towers that chime every hour, and it’s fabled to be the chocolate capital of the world! What more could I possibly want in a relaxing vacation home? Here’s a few images to prove its excellence 🙂

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After a cold, and I mean COLD morning into early afternoon in Bruges, I trained partway back to Brussels and got off at Ghent. This town took a little more effort because I had to tram into the center of town. But then I had a nice time wandering around. My theory was that if I kept moving I couldn’t literally freeze. At one point I went inside a church to see the inside, but really to warm up. I could see my breath. Like the whole time I was in there. Until I saw the door to the crypt was open and I escaped down there for a few minutes. It was actually really interesting to see and I got a little warmer before heading back up and out!

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Ghent is similar to Bruges with much of the features but it’s a good deal larger, so it looses the quaint appeal. But does have a much more legit castle! When I was frozen completely through, I walked back to the train station (because I was too cold to stand and wait for the tram). Back in Brussels I ended up walking for quite a long ways to find dinner, because places here apparently close between lunch and dinner… So I was frozen again and starving. But now I’m thawing out in my room with the extra space heater blasting. I estimate that I walked for over five hours today, and ran this morning, so I anticipate sleeping quite well tonight!

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  1. Trackback: Sweet SoCal Life | Rays of Funshine

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