4 months through the year 2019 and it was the first holiday. A girl with no name was awaiting for it eagerly.
The plan was to cross the German border and visit another European country. 4th entry in the list of countries visited so far.
We were travelling to Bruges, Belgium. A city whose name I had not heard until the time we planned for it. Ever since then I had been checking about it, on Pinterest, Instagram, googling about it, reading blogs und so weiter.
After years of scheduling travel trips in India, here I was working on the Bruges itinerary. 18 April was the day of the plan execution.
We left Düsseldorf at 4.30PM in a FlixBus, a bus where you have WiFi, charging point, in built washroom and a perfect view from the window. I wish such buses run between Pune-Goa. So cool that will be! That reminds me of my Laxmi Princess.LOL
I had heard about such buses and now I was experiencing it. The extraordinary is becoming ordinary now 🙂
7PM and we reached Antwerp. Our next bus to Bruges was at 9.45PM and we had ample of time at our disposal. We had good enough time to see the city and have dinner. Walking around the city we were welcomed by prominent stare which have become uncommon sight in Germany now. The city appeared creepy and I hoped that Bruges is nothing like this. This creepiness was lightened by the full moon in the sky. We took the opportunity to click some pictures then.
9.45 and we were on our way to Bruges in our double decker bus sitting on the front seat, soaking in the moonlight and interesting conversation.
Our early arrival in Bruges was welcomed by chilly cold and fairytale views. Google map took us around the entire city while we tried locating our hostel. Just as a side note no story/trip is ever interesting without any Epic!
When we went to check-in to the Christopher Bauhaus(which was to have 24*7 check-in as per their website) they denied it and said the check in is only possible at 2PM, next day. It was 12.30 in the night and we were on the road searching for a warm place! It was growing cold out there. We were calling up every place but no luck. One hostel, Charlie’s Rocket, which was within the reach wasn’t picking up our calls. We decided to directly walk into the hostel and try our luck. 10 mins walk and we were at the hostel reception. To our surprise and happiness they had 1 room for us! How lucky and blessed I felt in that very moment I cannot express. We checked in to our room, relaxed for a while and then for a long walk. In the night the city was serene, peaceful and above all gracefully beautiful.
While walking around we realised that we covered most of the spots we were to see over the next 2 days. Nevertheless we were quite happy to see the glory around and the blessing of finding a room in the middle of the night. We came back and went to sleep like a log of a wood. The next morning started with breakfast, check out from Charlie’s Rocket and check in to Christopher Bauhaus. We hired bicycles and went riding around the city. Touring on the cycle we reached the Markt Square. The Belfry tower was standing tall, posing happily for all the tourists. The square was bustling with people. The horse carts running in between were quite a Royal sight. The horses were huge and healthy as compared to those I had seen in India. European horses may be! Walking the narrow lanes, I felt like a dream walk, the start of my Europe exploration. Well then, about the lunch, 8 months in Germany and I have not yet visited any Indian restaurant here. And there we were in Bruges, sitting in an Indian restaurant, Taj Mahal, relishing a Biryani. Oh ya!
The lunch was followed by the cycle ride to Bauhaus. We said goodbye to the cycles, rested in a bunker beds for a while and then headed to the boating point. After a long wait in the queue we finally stepped into the boat. The sun was almost approaching sunset, the time and the moment couldn’t be more perfect. The boat ride was much more beautiful than what I had seen in videos.
After the boat ride we were back on the ground waving at other boats. This was fun! We didn’t know them neither did they know us, however we were waving at each other with sheer joy. It was like we saying “Hey you are on a boat!” and they saying “Hey look, we are on a boat”.
walking along the streets of Bruges were many chocolate shops with piles of chocolates looking all glorious with the lights. It is certainly a treat for anz chocolate lover.
“Waffle” – One of the top things to be tried in Bruges, had to be tried. And do we ever eat something so fascinating without clicking any pictures? Nein! Garnix. So we tried the pinteresty ideas for the waffle photoshoot and were partly successful.
Strolling along the streets we reached the Minnewater park. The lovely castles, the water bodies, florals, the canals. The color hue was really admirable. Every corner of this place demanded a picture. After a long stroll we decided to head back to the hostel as it was growing cold. We decided to spend some time indoors at the hostel cafe.
Sitting there I was pondering on the journey so far. Goa to Pune to Germany. And now here I am in Bruge, Belgium. I have reached here however there is still a long way to go. To move out of my comfort zone and to be confident enough like the people sitting in the cafe there, who would walk over to anyone and strike a conversation. Iam awe of their confidence and outspoken nature. It is just about time, one day I will be at par with them. It is just about time.
Ok, now I shall go fast forward mode and cut short the description. We then went for a walk and then came back to our bunkers bed for a good night sleep. Next day checked out of Christopher Bauhaus and stepped out on the cobblestone pathways with our bags. Well then later sitting under a tree we spent a good amount of time thinking about quotes for our named banner photoshoot. After we finally decided it was lunch time then. So we went to one of the small street cafes. Sitting there, chilling was so relaxing and rejuvenating in itself. We then relished on some tasty chicken and bread. Wrapping up with the lunch we then headed for the harp concert. We were the first to enter to pick the best place. It was my first time at such concerts and I must say it was a soulful experience. Music connects with your soul, touches your heart without even speaking a word. The musician was quite sick so he couldn’t sing the song which I was waiting for 🙁 But even then I loved the whole experience. One of the best memories in Bruges.
Story after that is pretty similar to any travel trip ending. Heading back home with a bit of tiredness but a heart full of memories and camera full of pictures.
So that is it, my first trip, successfully executed!