We were up early on Thursday to eat at the B&B’s cozy little breakfast nook and plan out our only full day in Bruges. The town is small and completely walkable, so we left the agenda fairly loose and decided that we’d spend most of day just wandering, stopping for tea or beer or frites or waffles whenever we needed a break. Our plan did not disappoint – everything in Bruges, from the canals to the parks to the simple sight of a bike propped against an old brick wall, was just so…perfect.

As much as I enjoyed our aimless wandering with all its charming surprises, I did have one non-negotiable must-do item on my list: get chocolate. And not the stuff from one of the tourist-targeted ‘Choco-holic’ shops, but the extra-good stuff. Shane had done a little research and recommended that we walk a little ways off the beaten path and check out Spegelaere on Ezelstraat. We walked in and were immediately overwhelmed by the smell of rich, cocoa goodness and the sight of rows upon rows of carefully prepared bonbons and truffles and solid bars and little squares filled with all sorts of gooey surprises. I practiced an amazing amount of self-restraint and asked for just two small boxes of assorted goodies (although for a moment, I did do a quick mental inventory of my suitcase and wonder if I could throw away a pair of shoes or leave behind a couple of pairs of jeans for the sake of making space for sweets). I tore into the first box about a half a block from the store – and from the first, melty, liqueur-filled bite, I was hooked.

We had lunch at a little cafe and did a little more exploring – by late afternoon, I felt like we’d walked down almost every street in the town center. We had seen our share of quaint street fronts and picturesque stretches of canal and were ready for a new perspective.

And so we headed over the church at the town square and bought our tickets to climb the 360 steps to the top of the tower. By the time we reached the lookout, I was breathless and tired, but the views from up there made the effort well worth it.

We left the church knowing that we had just a precious hour or two of sunshine left in the day, so we wound our way over to Minnewater Park for one last stroll, soaking in the gorgeous Autumn evening.

That last tour-de-Bruges left us tired and thirsty, and so we were happy to score a couple of chairs at a crowded cafe terrace from which we could catch the day’s last rays of sun and sip on some Belgian elixirs.

We ended the day with a romantic dinner at de Bottelier, a homey canal-side restaurant near our B&B. We shared a plate of pasta and a delicious regional baked fish dish, topped with tomatoes and peppers and all kinds of herbs. We drank wine and shared our thoughts and impressions of tiny Bruges. The verdict, out of 10 stars? A solid 11.

One Comment

  1. Nicole says:

    Totally knew you guys would love Bruges. Not going to lie though, I’m super jealous over here remembering all that is Bruges, Amsterdam, and now Paris! What a fun trip you two! Also, your pictures are beautiful! Have fun in Paris!