When I was in Paris last month for some work, my never ending travel lust got the best of me and we decided to train our way to neighbouring Belgium. I was travelling with my daughter of course, and two Sanas - my sister and my friend. Initially we wanted to do Brussels but decided a day trip (was not about to check out of my hotel, carry all out luggage, waste time checking in in another country and just staying one night) was probably not enough. Instead we decided to go to Bruges.
We took a train from Paris to Lille, and another train from Lille to Bruges. This was another wake-up-at-6 am-and-freeze trip. We had pre-bought our tickets online and the trains got delayed. There was also a slight mix up at Lille where we had to switch onto a bus because of some construction and then get to a different train station. Sometimes I really put my daughter through so much haha.
After getting into Bruges, you walk about 10 minutes from the station to the city centre and you felt as if you've entered another era. Bruges was beautiful; the entire centre was cobble-stoned with flowers and trees growing amongst the gothic architecture. If there was one word that came to mind it was picturesque. The whole place looked like it could have been the set from an old medieval movie, except with the welcome addition of pastel walls every here and there. Quaint canals cut through markets and small, ornate churches towered over from one alley to the next. Spring time was gorgeous because courtyards were full of tulips and daffodils swaying in a light breeze. The one downside was, as always, tourists. No one hates having extras in a shot more than I do, and there was no shortage. But I think we were still lucky with timing as Europe was going through an untimely cold spell during that week and it was also during a week day, so there were less people that what I had expected. The weather on this particular day kept vacilating between cloudy and the bluest sky I've ever seen.
Was six hours enough in a place like Bruges? To look at everything? Perhaps. To actually take it all in? Definitely not. Bruges is a very small city; it took us a little over 45 minutes to get from one side to the other on foot. But if I'm honest, I think I'd want to get lost here for at least a few days. We weren't able to visit any of the museums of even see Bruges past sundown. To see the sunset and glimmering lights in the canals would be just gorgeous. We left when the light was still in the sky but even on the train ride back to Paris, the skies went streaks of pink with windmills circling in the horizon. Definitely need to go back, but until I do, beauty is memory.