After a seemingly interminable term, the fall break finally came and we took off to Belgium to catch some fall foliage and binge on waffles and chocolate. I had seen many a magical photo of Bruges before arriving, but the photos really don’t do it justice.
As if the charming alleyways, canals, and bright red trees weren’t enough, the whole town was also preparing for the holiday season with lights and Christmas displays. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by holiday spirit!
Bruges is a fairly small town, but it’s bigger than it looks and there is certainly no shortage of things to do! We signed up for a free walking tour through Legends of Bruges and were not disappointed. It’s one thing to wander through a city, but it is so much more meaningful when you can learn about its history and culture. We had also considered doing the foodie tour because it sounded awesome, but unfortunately, I came down with a nasty cold while we were there and simply didn’t have the energy to do more than one tour.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trip without sampling some of the local cuisine. We tasted chocolate in every city we visited in Belgium, but this particular shop was our favorite.
We also did a little pub hopping to taste some of the many excellent beers Belgium has to offer. My personal favorite was the cherry-flavored beer that they only serve around Christmas.
Another highlight of Bruges was the Frietmuseum, a museum dedicated to the history of fries (but don’t call them French fries while you’re there!). It was such a fun and interesting museum.
I had hoped to accomplish a bit more in Bruges, including climbing the Belfry (Belfort) to get a better view of the city, but my illness really slowed me down. Still, I managed to squeeze in one last canal tour before we left.
In spite of feeling terrible for most of our time there, I really enjoyed Bruges – and I couldn’t imagine being there any other time of year. The colorful leaves and Christmas lights definitely set the tone for the rest of our trip and made me feel excited for Christmas in a way that I haven’t since becoming an expat.