Eating and Drinking through Brugge

JJ Bruge

When asking native Belgians their favorite place in Belgium, everyone had Brugge on their list.  So we decided our last weekend in Belgium should be in the magical city of canals.  What we were not expecting was the bitter cold, with wind and sleet pelting us in the face.  While many places we have been to in the winter, Paris, London, Luxembourg and have still enjoyed, Brugge seems to be a spot that would be better enjoyed in the summer.

Because it was literally to cold to stay out for more than 20-30 minutes a time because our feet went numb, we decided to make the trip about eating and drinking everything that was typical of Belgium.  Bring on the beer, chocolate, waffles and fries!

We arrived into the city and immediately walked into the middle of an active market.  There were clothes stalls and food stalls that looked like legitimate store fronts, but were actually out of the side of a small truck.

 

Brugge Farmer’s Market

From there we walked to the old city center, called Market Square.  And wandered down a side street and stepped into Cambrinus, home of 400 different types of beers.  We decided to try different types of Trappist beers since there are only a few in the world and all but one is made in Belgium.

After lunch we ended up walking to Our Lady Church, where the only Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime is kept.  Although, under construction and only getting to peek at his Madonna and child from afar, we noticed the church was set up for a symphony and people were beginning to sit in the pews.  There was no sign indicating what was going on and no one was collecting money, so we decided to sit down and see if anything happened.  Sometimes you are lead to the right place at the right time.  After only a few minutes a group of about 50-60 young adults appeared.  It seemed to be a school of some sort since most of the audience was young and seemed to know the people performing.  What we were not expecting was them to begin singing.  It was as if the gates of heaven had opened and angles had decended.  The entire cathedral was filled from wall to wall, floor to ceiling with simply their voices, nothing else.  The music sent chills pulsating through your body.  It was one of those moments, when you can’t believe you are in a cathedral, in Belgium, yet you know in that moment, it is exactly where you are supposed to be.  I am so grateful Jon got a video clip of the performance to share with you, because it was magnificent.  Only to be followed up by the same group of students sitting down to play a symphony, amazing talent.

The Church of Our Lady

 

 

The rest of the trip pretty much went back to food:

Chocolate…the Cappaccino Italine was the best! 

Waffles….

 

Beer.  We found a wonderful shop where you could buy hundreds of beers by the bottle.  Which meant more trappist beers to try.  We ended up talking to the owner (who spoke 6 different languages) who was also in her early thirties and wanted to take a year and travel with her husband!

 

All to be finished off with a few frozen canals and windmills.  The windmills on an average day are only about a 15 minute walk from city center.  It took us 30 because we were holding onto each other for dear life, sliding over ice and had icey snow pleting us in the face, but it was worth it.  We also found the favorite spot for sledding and we wanted to get out there and play with the kids and slide down the hill too!

Overall we enjoyed our time, but we need to go back in the summer.  We were amazed that everywhere we went they spoke English.  Although we were prepared with our GooDuck and Spreken you Angles?  We had a great experience at our hotel, Walwyck, with Jerome, who told us areas to avoid because of charging too much and places to see.  The walls could use some fresh paint, but it is conveniently located if you are looking for an economical spot.

On day two before we got on the train we did go to De Halve Maan, the last brewery in the city center of Brugge, while the beer was good and the cheese tray was excellent, the service was terrible and it is definitely a tourist trap.  If you want to do something touristy it is perfect.  Otherwise we think you can have your choice of amazing beers and good food anywhere else.

PS. We are posting this and literally running out the door to catch our next train.  Please excuse any errors :)
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