It is Friday morning and I wake up in the city of Ghent. After some scrambled eggs, made by the charming lady of the breakfast room from the NH hotel, I put my backpack on and walk outside to catch a tram ride to the train station. Upon arrival at the train station of Ghent St. Pieters I only have to spend half an hour traveling by train to get to Bruges.
Welcome to the magic
I arrive in the afternoon at this city of winter wonderland which offers a warm welcome with many festive lights and decorations. The charm of magical Bruges makes me want to stop walking at every corner to grab my camera and try to capture the moment. First I have to check-in at the hotel though, but this gives me a good reason to enjoy the details of the magnificent buildings with my own eyes as I walk towards the Martin’s Brugge Hotel.
I am all set to explore Bruges, but now I feel like sneezing every 3 seconds. Am I suffering from an allergy? Probably yes. Okay, let’s find some kind of drugstore somewhere where I can buy something that will stop the annoying sneezing.
Across the street I see a building that looks like one of those pharmacies from an old western movie. And guess what? A Clint-Eastwood look-a-like smiles at me when I enter the place sneezing like hell and the old man tells me he has exactly what I need. I buy the anti-allergy pills and leave the pharmacy with a confused feeling. I did not know these authentic pharmacies still exist in this century. I truly feels like walking on a movie set.
The sweet taste of Flanders
It is already lunch hour and I am looking forward to trying the local cuisine. A table served along with many Christmas decorations at the Den Amand Bistro confirms my appetite. A soup which they call “Pladijs soup” is served and it appears to be a fish soup. I never knew the word “pladijs” is the same like “schol”, which apparently are Dutch synonyms for plaice. Very very very tasty! But, I think that if I would finish this big bowl of soup I would not be able to eat more and I really want to try the next course (it really was a big bowl of soup). Luckily the waiter is prepared to remove my bowl of unfinished soup and I can only wait to be amazed by the next plate.
The waiter comes back with a big white plate full of different tapas. Did I say tapas? I mean Brapas! A pleasingly rich, sweet and salty taste would be the best description for the variety of crackers with Belgium meats and cheese.
Back in time
My visit to the pharmacy was not going to be the only ride back in time today. To be able to get to know more about the history of Bruges I will visit Historium which is located on the central square of Bruges.
With an audio guide I walk through the attraction and again it feels as if I am walking in the 15th century, but now with music and special effects showing a magical story.
After the tour I went to the panoramic terrace of the Historium building where I could enjoy the view of Bruges. Eehm.. excuse me, could you please take me a picture here?
Ice, Ice baby
The Walt Disney movie “Frozen” has got her own Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival in Bruges (next to the train station) and it is a marvelous highlight of a visit in December. Every year the ice sculptors return and create a hall entirely made of ice. This year all the princes and princesses of Disney salute you with snow and ice. You can enter the ice sculpture festival until the 5th of January 2014 for 15 euros. With a constant minus six degrees I am happy to have brought my gloves and hat, but it is safe to say that this is a very cool experience!
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