‘Bruges is a beautiful medieval city, almost untouched by time.’ – James Frain.
Bruges is the sort of city that lures you down it’s narrow cobbled streets and instantly charms you with it’s beautiful architecture and comforting chocolate box scenes. You know, the sort of chocolates that you might give to an elderly neighbour at Christmas… It’s a picture perfect city, and the ideal location for another of my ‘Postcards from…’ posts.
You may remember that my last lot of ‘postcards’ came from the South Island in New Zealand.
We wandered the city extensively, trying to get to every corner and ducking down hidden alleys and quiet lanes wherever possible. If you’re short on time but have an urge to book a break, Bruges is the perfect weekend getaway city – small, easily accessible by train from Brussels and completely walkable once you’re there. Known for its mussels, Belgian beer, lace and chocolate, there’s also plenty to entertain when you’re there, and both A and I felt that an extra night to head out and explore Ghent would have been nice. However, the three nights we did have felt a good length of time for Bruges.
I took a lot of the following photos one evening when I headed out alone with the sole aim to take pictures of the city. I walked aimlessly and, once it grew dark, I enjoyed practising some night photography. Two of the resulting images are below – I hope you like them!
I wanted to try and get an alternative angle on this street and the church in the background, so I ended up practically lying in the gutter to get this shot! A few people walked past and gave me some funny looks, but I’m pleased with how this turned out, so it was worth it!
When I posted this image on Instagram, somebody commented on to say they had spotted themselves and their friends. Having often wondered how many strangers photos I am in by accident, it was great to actually be contacted by someone who had turned up in the background of my photo! This is the main square in Bruges, with lots of colourful facades and it is the busiest part of the city.
This image garnered quite a lot of likes on Instagram and was featured in my January Recap post as a result. It’s a little reminiscent of Amsterdam, in my opinion, and shows off the varied but mostly traditional architecture that is featured in Bruges.
At the end of the street leading to our AirBnB, we found this cute little café / restaurant which was actually run by the owner of our apartment. Whilst we didn’t eat there (lots of seafood, which I’m not a fan of!) it made the ideal location for some night photography practise. I really loved how the owner had set out the lights to add a welcoming warmth to the exterior of his premises and how even in the dark this place looks warm, cosy and inviting!
On my actual birthday, we did a brewery tour and spent a few hours in the brewery bar sampling their beers. The highlight of the tour (for me) was to get up on the roof and have this wonderful view across the city rooftops. The red contrasts wonderfully with the bright blue sky and you get a great view of a few of the spires that dominate Bruges’ skyline (not all featured in this image).
No trip to Bruges is complete without ascending the Belfry tower, which dominates the main square. This famous tower is featured in the film In Bruges and it is from the Belfry that one of the films main characters jumps after being shot. If you’ve not seen In Bruges, I’d highly recommend it – it was one of the main reasons A and I chose to come to Bruges in the first place!
Another photo taken as the sky darkened and the city lights sprang on one by one. This building was a pub / bar / restaurant, and I stood by the bus stop waiting patiently to capture the bus light trails with my shutter speed slowed down. I didn’t take a tripod to Bruges so had to practise a steady hand to get images that weren’t too blurred…