First impression of Belgium? Everywhere smells of waffles.
First off, before I get into the waffle (get it?!) of my usual blogs, I’d like to thank our two good friends Jason and Sofie for letting us stay in their apartment in Belgium. You’re awesome.
I’ve been told many times not to go to Bruges. It’s too touristy, it’s too small, it’s too expensive blah blah blah. Always one to do the opposite of what people tell me, I went to Bruges… and I LOVED it. I wish people would give up this ‘too touristy’ business, news flash, I am a tourist. Of course it’s great to get off the beaten track every once in a while and there are indeed amazing places most tourists will never have dreamt of, but having said that, tourist destinations are destinations for a reason. In Bruges’ case; it’s beautiful, it’s quaint, it’s old and in actual fact, as soon as you stray from the main square- you will soon find that you’re completely alone.
There are three reasons I travel; to see beautiful architecture, to learn about a place’s history, and to experience local culture- that’s pretty much it. Towards the end of my time in Thailand I felt as if I had the culture pretty much down (as much as a farang could anway), I’d had my fill on interesting history and as for beautiful architecture…well, there isn’t really all that much to gorge on. I’ve been dreaming of coming back to Europe pretty much since I left the continent, Bruges acted like my first banana after the war, it definitely didn’t disappoint.
The tall, thin, often leaning buildings, the fallen leaves more vivid than I could’ve imagined, the red brick I’ve been craving to see, the spires, the cobbled streets, the dark, hidden away basilica, me acting out all of the scenes from ‘In Bruges’ and the canal- everything about Bruges was brilliant.
Don’t be a travel snob, I’ve been to over 30 countries yet would never turn my nose up to anywhere. Yes, there are places I didn’t personally enjoy and always give advice based on my personal experiences, but the crux of the matter is that you’ve ultimately got to see it for yourself. There’s not a single place in the World I can think of that I wouldn’t want to visit- least of all the places that are ‘too touristy’. You do you, if you wanna visit somewhere, pack your bags and go there, despite what everyone else says.
Stay tuned for my opinions on both Ghent and Brussels (spoiler alert, they’re pretty cool too).
Much love from Belgium, or wherever I am