We're back from Bruges!
Funny how the lovely weather ended the very minute we arrived there. It's been well over 20 degrees the last week but eversince April 30th, it's been downright cold. It's something like 7 degrees here in Arnhem now but my heater's turned off because we promised not to turn on the heater from May 1st;-) Blankets work fine..
Anyway, let's get on with the Bruges trip report!
Due to the 30 degree weather on Thursday, the trains were delayed which caused me to be delayed and caused some of Dutchman's colleagues to be delayed which also caused Dutchman's meeting to be delayed etc. The delay meant we couldn't have dinner at Den Gouden Harynck (1 Michelin star restaurant which I was really looking forward to :-( ). We arrived in Bruges at around 8.30, checked in at the Kempinski and immediately went out to look for food.
Strangely, restaurants in Bruges close at 10p.m. (don't know if this is a daily occurance or only on weekdays)! A few restaurants turned us away (kitchen closes at 9p.m.) but we finally found a typically Flemish restaurant, probably catered to tourists but it was nice anyway. I had some yummy lamp chops and Dutchman had some typical Flemish dinner (a beer stew?).
We were dead tired and went back to the hotel immediately after dinner to rest/sleep/shower.
We did not have breakfast in the hotel as it is not included in our stay. We thought 60 euro (30 euro each per breakfast) for breakfast is a bit much so we went out and had a lovely breakfast at this place called Café Au Lait. The bread was so good and the cappuccino was probably the best we've ever had. The whipped cream was so solid, it was like ice cream. Yum yum. And guess what? That amazing breakfast with eggs, bread, cold cuts, cheese, spreads, juice, coffee and other misc items cost us only 25 euro;-) Don't need a 60 euro breakfast for sure!
After breakfast, we went to check out the sights.
Brugge is an old city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourism is a big industry here but the locals are very welcoming and so much more polite than the average Dutch person. Here, they actually stop cycling when someone is taking a photo so as not to ruin it. A Dutch person (esp. in Amsterdam;-) ) would probably just whizz pass and probably ring his bell angrily because this dumbass tourist is on his bike path;-)
We wanted to go on a ride on one those carriages because we have never done that before but there weren't very many carriages! After a while, we decided to sit at a cafe at the market square instead. The sun was shining so of course, that means blonde beer for us. Of course, me being Malaysian means I have to eat everywhere I sit, so yeah, that means mussels with beer & cream for me as well.... BTW, must add that Belgian frites aren't all that special (granted, we only had 3 servings of those throughout our stay). Dutch fries are so much better;-)
More walking after that. Bought lots of special Belgian beers for friends. Dumped them at home. Was pretty exhausted by then! Went for dinner but happened across a carnival and had quite a bit of fun with some machines and rides. haha very cheesy but was probably the most we'd laughed for some time!
We decided to have a simple dinner (frites), walked back to the hotel and collapsed in exhaustion on the bed;-) Funny, we didn't even walk all that much so there's obviously something wrong with our stamina! We didn't even hang out at a Belgian pub as planned, we were just content to read a book (me) and watch TV (him).
All in all, Bruges was nice. It's a pretty city but to be honest, it's really not all that different from any old Dutch city (Bruges is only 2-3 hours drive away after all) so not all that special for me. Language-wise pretty much the same too (Flemish and Dutch are like Malay and Indonesian, maybe even less different because I cannot understand Indonesians all the time and the Dutch and Flemish understand each other fine).
I love holidays :-)