The adorable medieval town Bruges was almost a surreal place – with old traditional buildings, narrow cobbled streets and weeping willows dipping their branches in the canals, and as many horse carriages on the streets as there were cars – Bruges was a town taken out of a fairytale.
The only thing that kept me from pinching myself were the hordes of tourists around me that kept poking me in the back, as they elbowed their way trying to get the best photos.
For some reason, all the tourists seemed very stressed, and they were all running around with waffles in one hand and a camera in the other. With only a couple of hours in this cute town, we were moving pretty fast too. First stop was a boat tour along the canal, which was one of the best ways to see the city (had it not been for the heads popping up in every picture).
After that, we joined the other tourists as they raced around the streets snapping photos, yelling and eating – making our way to the beer brewery.
Beer is very important in Belgium, and has a long history – today, Belgians are the fourth heaviest beer drinkers in the world, flushing down 90 L per person per year.
In the Medieval days, people in Belgium drank beer as if it was water – literally – because the water was so polluted, everyone drank beer instead – including the children…
This resulted in 400L per person per year, but in those days the alcohol was much weaker than it is today.
Trying the many different beers is one of the top things to do in Belgium, and every local you talk to will ask which beers you’ve tried and tells you which ones you must have. A brewery tour is definitely a highlight on a visit to Bruges, so most tourists who were rushing around had also had a couple of beer glasses throughout the day! There was no question whether Bruges was pretty, but looking around yourself and being surrounded by so many tourists, the question was rather if it was perhaps too pretty for its own good… (note: Special thanks to VisitFlanders for providing our trip to Belgium – our opinions are, as always, our own)