7 Countries in 30 days. Step 4: Bruges (Belgium)

Le sirenette non sono solo a Copenaghen
The mermaids are not just in Copenhagen
Cioccolato terza taglia?
Third size chocolate?

The day in Bruxelles is grey. It is raining  a little bit. I take advantage of my InterRail pass and I take a train to Bruges (or Brugge… this Belgian bilingualism makes me crazy!). It has been described to me as the best preserved medieval town in Europe: the places with a touch of medieval are always my favorites to visit, so let’s go!

The smell of warm waffles inebriates me in the alleys that lead to the center from the station, between the typical little brick houses with pointed frontages. A naked mermaid sprays water into a fountain, while in a bar an elderly overweight couple overweight is drinking large mugs of beer at midmorning. A little farther a chocolate shop shows off its specialty, among which milk and dark chocolate breasts stand out. Sipping a takeaway coffee (with a lot of milk, otherwise it would be undrinkable for a coffee-addict-italian such as me), I continue my tour in town, taking some pictures for those who, once back home, will ask me for them. Was it not for me, I would just enjoy the peace, the colours and the perfumes of the city.

Serve un passaggio?
Do you need a ride?

Some carriage drivers compete with boats on the canals to carry around tourists. Pulling the carriages are sturdy workhorses with legged long-haired. they remind me of the cartoon inspired by Animal Farm by Orwell, that I watched when I was a child, where one of the protagonists was a horse like this. Passing a little bridge, I stop to watch the foliage of the weeping willows, bent down to caress the dark water below.

Attracted by the ensign House of potato, I decide to ignore the advice of my liver, to try a local specialty. French fries in lard are devastating. I eat them on a bench, listening to several couples of elders behind me. In English mixed to German, they are talking about how Spanish people cannot pronounce words starting with S, because they have the habit to add an E in front of them. They are really right.

Dalle case ai ponti sui canali, tutto è medievale a Bruges
Frome the houses to the bridges over the canals, everything is medieval in Bruges

I infiltrate a Spanish group, listening to their guide, who shows the world’s smallest arched window. Sometimes, to know other languages it is also useful to steal curiosity where you least expect them! I follow the channel out from the center, to where it widens to form a pond. A cobblestone path leads me into a grove of lime trees. Here a huge acacia keeps me in its shadow on a big and ancient terrace, while I am charmed watching a big fish who teases the sleeping mallards in the shallow water. The peace, the silence broken only by a few twittering and by the buzzing of a bumblebee, purple and red of the flowers I see next to me… I’d like to fall asleep between these trees.

Andrea Cuminatto

READ HERE THE STEP N°1: Munich (Germany)

READ HERE THE STEP N°2: Bayreuth (Germany)

READ HERE THE STEP N°3: Bruxelles (Belgium)


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