Benelux

In Bruges (Plus Brussels & Amsterdam)

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When we left off on the grand retelling of my first European adventure, I had just finished a four day stint in London and Paris. From Paris, I took the Thalys to Belgium. My first stop was Brussels.

I really didn’t have a preconception of what to expect when I arrived in Brussels. It snowed the night before my arrival and my initial glimpse of the city was one of a grey, nondescript town. As I rode into the center though, I started to feel a medieval charm with the stone buildings and cobbled streets. I stayed at a guest house a block away from Mannekin Pis, Brussels’ most famous landmark, which is in the center of town right around the corner from Grand Place.

Brussels

My main objective for my visit to Brussels was to experience the best of what the city has to offer: beer, chocolate, and waffles. Let’s just say I achieved my goal! I enjoyed the most amazing truffles, ordered a crispy waffle drenched in warm Nutella, and tried quite a few local brews. Overall, while the city wasn’t the most beautiful I had experienced thus far, its size and local offerings kept me busy and happy.

Bruges

From Brussels, I took the local train to Bruges. Again, I really didn’t have an expectation of Bruges at all, when planning my trip I was just told it was a MUST visit. When my taxi arrived my first thought was, “This is the cutest place I have ever been!”. The canals flowing in and around the city, the beautiful medieval architecture, and the quaint shops and cobbled streets all came together to create the most charming site. I again enjoyed some tasty beer and stopped to enjoy some Belgian fries with samurai sauce (similar to a spicy russian dressing). The whole experience was delightful and I was sad to have to leave only after a day visit.Amsterdam

After begrudgingly leaving Bruges, I set off for Amsterdam. At this point in my journey, I was a bit tuckered out. I had never been on a two week vacation before and with exploring everyday and running from train to train, I was beginning to feel ready to head home. Amsterdam was such a beautiful city; the architecture was lovely and modern, the food was probably the best of my journey, and the city was zigzagged with canals and overwhelmed by locals and tourists on bicycles. It was a bit chillier than I had planned for, so the combination of exhaustion and weather made for a long last day of forced tourism. I can’t wait to go back and give it my full attention.

Finally, I’ve finished regaling you with the drawn-out story of my exploration of London, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam. Have any travels you’d like to share? Shoot me an email, I’d love to feature them on the blog!

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