By Jillian Hall
We were up before dawn to catch the train from Amsterdam to Bruges. Once aboard the train, we shared a croissant and watched with sleepy eyes as the sun rose over the countryside. Arriving in Bruges with just a short walk from the train station, we immediately found ourselves on the winding cobbled streets flanked by buildings hundreds of years old. My husband is a brewer so the first item of business was to find Brouwerij De Halve Maan. We literally followed the scent of beer and hops wafting through the air which led us straight to the brewery. After enjoying a couple of pints, we headed back out to wander the streets.
Under a clear blue sky we crossed over canal bridges, peered into chocolate shops and gushed over the medieval architecture. A picturesque view around every corner. We stopped at a bench to rest our feet and watch the boats pass by, rippling through the reflections of the buildings on the water.
After lunch we grabbed ice cream cones at a quaint little shop and sat people watching at The Market Square (Markt) passing the time until Le Trappiste opened, a specialty beer bar housed in an 800-yr old medieval cellar. Rounding a darkened street corner was the sign for the bar and a discrete door to get in. Down a few steps we were greeted by the flicker of candlesticks casting a warm glow on the stunning brick vaulted arches and a bar housing a wide selection of rare beer. Total heaven.
It was twilight when we wandered the narrow streets back to the train station, drunk on our day in this magical city. Our day in Bruges was like stepping out of time and into the pages of a storybook.
For more adventures from Jillian you can follow her here: @jillianmaryhall