Travel

A Weekend in Bruges – Part2

May 22, 2016

We awoke to the smell of waffles and fresh bread floating through the air and rolled out of bed ready to continue our weekend in Bruges!

Weekend in Bruges - The Dukes PalaceWeekend in Bruges - The Dukes Palace
DAY 2:

Feeling a little peckish, we headed out to see what we could find for breaky.Weekend in Bruges

Firstly we didn’t realise that it was a public holiday and secondly we didn’t know that Bruges doesn’t really do the ‘toast and eggs’ kind of fry-up that we’re used to.

But luckily we stumbled across a cute little coffee shop called Vero Caffe which had some lovely seats outside to enjoy the sun!Weekend in Bruges - Vero Caffe

We sipped our coffees with extremely creamy Bruge cows milk and got a nice big Vitamin-D injection out in the sunshine!
Weekend in Bruges

I asked the lovely owner if I could take some pictures of her lovely plant collection – she’d done such a nice job decorating the cafe with a minimalist, Scandi vibe (me in a nutshell!).

Weekend in BrugesWeekend in BrugesWeekend in Bruges

After we’d finished our coffees, we wandered a few doors down to the Choco Story Museum which is exactly as it sounds – a museum dedicated to the history of chocolate.

Weekend in Bruges - Choco Story

Whilst it’s not the most modern museum, we did learn a lot of nifty chocolate history which will might come in handy at a Trivia night!

For example, did you know that the incas sacrificed humans and gave chocolate mixed with blood to the sun gods to ensure the sun came out every day? That seems like a waste of chocolate if you ask me!

The museum has every bit of chocolate paraphernalia you could imagine – royal china used for drinking hot chocolate, the intricate chocolate moulds, and some extraordinary chocolate artwork on show!Weekend in Bruges - Choco StoryWeekend in Bruges - Choco StoryWeekend in Bruges - Choco Story

And this was probably my favourite part of the museum: “Take chocolate if you want bad company to seem good”… good advice Madame de S!

Weekend in Bruges - Choco Story

Feeling cocoa’d out, we headed up into the Belfry Tower to walk all 366 steps to the top of the tower.Weekend in Bruges - Belfry

A word to the wise, I wouldn’t attempt these stairs unless you’ve wearing flat, ‘sensible’ shoes as the stairwells can get quite narrow and slippery at times.

Having said that, the viewing platforms throughout the tower make the climb worth it!

Weekend in Bruges - Belfry TowerWeekend in Bruges - Belfry Tower

And hearing (and watching) those bells chime at the top of the tower is truly mesmerising!Weekend in Bruges - Belfry Tower

After we’d wobbled back down all 366 steps, we skipped down to the south of the city through the markets and past the canals.

Being the great tourists that we are, we held up traffic in the middle of the street…Weekend in BrugesWeekend in Bruges

And then made a pit stop for a quick twirl down an alley way.

Weekend in Bruges

Afterwards I got hangry (unfortunately my belly doesn’t think coffee and chocolate cut the mustard!).

And this is my #hangry concentration face whilst i was searching for somewhere to eat.Weekend n Bruges

We ducked into a small bakery/ cafe called Carpe Diem and ordered some savoury crepes and Belgium Bier for Mr TUQ.

We also asked for a side of fries but our waiter looked at us as if we’d gone mad! Apparently bakeries aren’t allowed to serve fries… A slight faux pas on our behalf!Weekend in Bruges - Carpe Diem Weekend in Bruges - Carpe Diem

Down the end of the road we ran into Minnewater Park and I felt like I stepped into Disney movie!

Weekend in Bruges - Minnewater-2Weekend in Bruges - Minnewater-2

Horses and carts, weeping willow and white geese floating on the canals. It was just missing a chirping chorus of birds singing Disney songs!Weekend in Bruges - Minnewater-2 Weekend in Bruges - Minnewater-2 Weekend in Bruges - Minnewater-2

The fairytale continued as we wandered back up into town…

We pressed our noses up against all the chocolatiers and looks at some truly amazing pieces of edible art!Weekend in Bruges - Chocolate

These aren’t just for the tourists either. Locals also buy their chocolate from these chocolatiers for presents and dinner parties (although I assume there are ‘local’ or ‘non-local’ chocolate shops!).
Weekend in Bruges - Chocolate Weekend in Bruges - Chocolate

Two places I would definitely recommend visiting are:

Go.Fre – Waffles on sticks covered in chocolate (a fresh waffle dipped in melting chocolate rolled in your choice of nuts, candy or more chocolate treats!)

Le Comptoir De Mathilde – Wny flavoured chocolate (pistachio, caramel, speculoos, strawberry) on a stick which you can swirl around in some warm milk to make your own Belgium hot choc at home!

Weekend in Bruges - Go.FreWeekend in Bruges - Chocolate

This about summed up our weekend in Bruges:

Weekend in Bruges - Minnewater-2

The sun still felt lovely late in the afternoon so we went to visit Mr TUQ’s poodle friend in the hotel garden again!

We kicked up our heels and enjoyed some cocktails on the lawn in the sunshine.

Weekend in Bruges - The Dukes PalaceAperol spritzers have become my drink of choice since we went skiing in Switzerland earlier in the year. I don’t understand where they have they been all my life? Or have they just made a come back?Weekend in Bruges - The Dukes Palace

Dinner was at a little seafood restaurant near the local fish market called Des Visscherie.

We were so looking forward to some more delicious fish like we’d had the night before at Refter but we were sadly left a little disappointed (see our meal at Refter here).

Weekend in Bruges

We quickly forgot about our ho-hum meal as soon as we strolled home through the beautifully lit streets. Weekend in Bruges Weekend in Bruges

Quite magical don’t you think?

Back at The Dukes Palace Hotel we were greeted with a little chocolate on our pillows. Taking the advice from Madame de Sevigne at the Choco Museum who said chocolate can help you sleep better, I gobbled down my chocolate before before I tucked myself into bed.

Did I have a good sleep? Why yes I think I did! Maybe this could become a nightly ritual?Weekend in Bruges - The Dukes Palace

 

DAY 3:

For our last day in Bruges we had a quick espresso with a side of chocolate in the hotel (when in Bruges right?),…

Weekend in Bruges - The Dukes Palace

…Followed by another coffee with a side of chocolate at the I Love Coffee cafe.
Weekend in Bruges - I Love Coffee

Maybe it’s an Aussie thing or maybe it’s just because we love coffee but we always try to hunt down the best coffee shops whenever we travel.Weekend in Bruges - I Love Coffee

We had some brunch Bruges style (i.e. more pastries) and then decided to jump on some bikes to try and shift some of the fries, waffles, chocolate and wine that we’d consumed over the last couple of days.

Weekend in Bruges - Cycling

Weekend in Bruges - Bike RidingWe headed north through the city to ride to a little town called Damme.

Then we hit a main road and thought, ‘Oh goodness what have we got ourselves into?’. But within a few minutes, we were back on the bike path and found ourselves riding through the lush green countryside!
Weekend in Bruges - Bike Riding

We met some of beautiful cows that had been making all that lovely milk for our chocolate, ice-cream and coffee over the last couple of days! Weekend in Bruges - Bike Riding

And fed some grass to the friendly horses wandering in the paddock.Weekend in Bruges - Bike Riding

Then we arrived into quaint little Damme which consisted of about 4 restaurants but plenty of good #baaw shots (bike against a wall) and a beautiful old windmill that had been restored.

Weekend in Bruges - Bike Riding Weekend in Bruges - Bike Riding

Weekend in Bruges - Bike RidingOn our way back, we rode via the commuter path. This city loves their bikes and make it so easy for everyone to ride around – Sydney & London you need to take note!
Weekend in Bruges - Bike Riding

Back in the city centre, we returned our bikes and for good measure we also made a quick trip to stock up on some more chocolate (thank goodness Eurostar doesn’t weigh your luggage!)…

And of course, one last waffle!

Hazelnut ice-cream with dark chocolate this time…Weekend in Bruges - Oyya

I’m pretty sure the top button had popped on my jeans by this stage but I couldn’t have cared less! Those waffles were completely worth it!

Sad to be leaving Bruges, we lugged our suitcases stuffed with chocolates back to the train and were safely back home within a few hours. Coming from Australia, the ability to travel to another country in a few hours still delights the pants off me!

Weekend in Bruges

Au revoir Bruges – until next time!

 

If you missed Part 1 of my trip to Bruges then click your little fingers HERE! And if you are thinking of visiting Bruges then please do yourself a favour and book a trip! A long weekend was just the perfect amount of time but I’m sure you could still do a weekend in Bruges in just two days!

 

Weekend in Bruges

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