Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is one of those places that people will start raving about when you mention it, even if they’ve never been there themselves. I think it’s probably a similar effect to when people talk about Venice. And so, rather than spending the weekend in Brussels, I decide to take the train to Bruges on Saturday morning, just to see for myself what all the fuss is about.

Trains from Bruxelles Midi to Bruges run frequently and make the journey in about one hour. The Belgian State Railways offer a reduced weekend ticket that is valid on Saturdays and Sundays only. If you’re planning a trip to Bruges, you better plan for an early start, because the trains tend to be very full – as in ‘standing room only’ in second class.

But in any case, Bruges is admittedly a nice little place. But in all honesty, I think it’s either a bit overrated – or else I’ve just travelled too much. I think part of my problem with Bruges is that it doesn’t seem real. It’s so meticulously turned out for the tourists that it’s ended up looking a lot like a film set. I had a similar sensation I when I visited Dubrovnik, which is also very nice but feels like a museum.

The other issue is that the place is literally crawling with tourists, to the extent that it’s impossible to find a place to eat without having to queue for ages. All in all, I’m glad I’ve been to Bruges. But I’ve ticked it off the list now, and I don’t think I’ll be coming back.

Below are some pictures I took in Bruges. As you may notice, most of them were taken looking up, mainly to avoid getting somebody’s bonce in the bottom end of the frame. I’ve also added a few more pictures of the queues and people there were lining the streets.

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