The plan was very well-intended and sounded like this: “Let’s meet at 8:20 at the lounge and let’s take that earlier train to avoid the crazy crowds that we had to experience on the train to Ghent.” In other words, a perfect plan. The only tiny problem was that for half of us it turned out to be too early.
Waking up and feeling actually rested was the first sign that something was not exactly as planned. The funny bit was that three rooms out of five overslept and we didn’t even do anything together last night! Sorry, girls, I hope you managed to see at least some of the morning Bruges with less people. Because the one we saw was ridiculously crowded. No wonder, I guess, its name speaks for itself.
Bruges is nice. Every single house is worth taking a look or taking a picture (whichever is your way of enjoying the city), all those canals and boats and streets. Lovely. But then you also have to queue if you want a picture along the canal. Or if you just want to glance towards the other side. And lean over the parapet for a moment. Not here, there’s someone else behind you already annoyed by waiting. You have to constantly pay attention to where your friends are because just a moment of distraction and you might lose them. (Just a moment of distraction and you might be hit by a horse as well!) Not even talking about the queues for taking a boat or going up the tower or whatever else they have there. If you want to visit any of those places, make sure you are well equipped with patience. And a spare hour or so.
But then again, it is awesome and I did fall in in love with it. And I did wish we could have had more time there (like not oversleeping, for example!). Someone said that Bruges is so small that you can see everything in two hours. Are you kidding me? Well, unless you are a devout tourist and go nowhere else but the very centre centre, there are just as incredibly beautiful places outside the main touristic area. Have you walked along the river to see the windmills? The windmills maybe are not anyhow special but the walk is. Have you ended up in a random island on the way to the train station? Well, we did. We didn’t even notice when or how we got on that island. Have you found an amazingly beautiful fountain in an amazingly lovely park? Have you seen a Thai festival? With all those smells and food and weeeeird music. Have you found a tinybridge with NO people whatsoever? Yes, it is possible, even in that overcrowded city. Not kidding.
And all those little things were the ones that made it unique, put a giant smile on our faces for the rest of the day and let us feel it and smell it and see it and experience it fully. It didn’t even matter that we didn’t have the time to see the seaside in the end (and the ones who did said it was worth it as well). The next day however we made sure to get up early enough for more than a glance over Antwerp.