Mummy had visited Bruges once before almost 30 years ago!!!! Wow! This time we thought – it would be magical to be there at this time of year.
She had heard several people talking about going to the Bruges market – and even though she had a hint from someone that it wasn’t great, we thought we would go anyway.
After a long journey, we arrived at the railway station – it was almost full – which was a hint of what was to come. It was indeed packed with people – we heard different accents and languages. We walked along normal shops – names all too familiar interspersed with chocolatiers. But Mummy was starving and wasn’t quite focused on shopping.
We began our journey at about 6am, while I had my breakfast, Mummy didn’t so by the time we arrived, it was definitely lunch! We looked for anything that was non-touristy when we stumbled upon Gruuthusehof. Hesitatingly, Mummy asked if I could go in and the owner did not even respond, he opened the door for us! In fact I have to say, riding the bus in, the Belgians were giving me a lot of attention. I get the feeling they like dogs.
Mummy had a lovely meal and I had bread thrown down to me! The usual.
Lovely carrot and pumpkin soup to start – with me yearning for some.
And Mummy said, a delicious fish casserole. Sounds good but I did not get to taste any of it.
Refueled, we went on to tackle the town … I checked out some green places but I wasn’t allowed off the lead.
We walked further along and saw lovely old buildings – mostly museums and lots of horse carriages. We didn’t have time to go on one.
And we came across the canals and the pretty buildings alongside them.
There are so many chocolate shops we didn’t know which one to go to so we didn’t and just admired the chocolate artworks form the outside …
And of course we found more doggy things …
But no Christmas market as such. We went to the main square and the place was dominated by a skating ring and a few stalls. A few squares away we found an ensemble of stalls with some entertainment for children. There wasn’t much really. We looked at the shops instead.
So it was a nice visit but not quite the Christmas Market we thought we would find. Never mind. We’ll go back to Bruges again when the expectations are not so high and when it is not full of Christmas shoppers. Bruges is always busy so slightly less busy and the sun might be out.
May’s comment: OK, we did it. Also made me appreciate so much more what we already have in London. But I loved Gruuthusehof – a 70 year old family run restaurant that has obviously been updated, decorated and still feels cosy. The food was delicious.