Bruges the Beautiful
The Sunday after Christmas Bruges was ablaze with tourists. After 45 minutes searching the city for a parking spot, Filippo finally settled on a nice piece of sidewalk under a bridge. Crossing ourselves, as if God would spare us from an illegal parking ticket, we set off to explore charming Bruges.
I frustrated myself greatly trying to capture the perfect images of what my eyes were seeing. Bruges was so freaking cute, my heart would race just turning a corner into a new scene of Belgian beauty.
We spent the day weaving in and out of the masses, and for our patience, earning much-welcomed whiffs from the chocolate shops we passed.
The stone bridges of Bruges begged us over them, over and over again as we traced the quaint canals that oozed buckets of charm.
We toured both dazzling and dilapidated churches and in pious practice, Filippo lit a candle in each. As I watched the ruby red light quietly cast its glow, I reflected on my gratitude for a belief greater than ourselves that binds us.
And in Grote Markt, drenched in the multitudes of travelers, Filippo and I found the stillness I need in travel. In the center of the square, next to a small construction site where no one else cared to stand, the buzz of the city seemed to slow down and I could savor my first glühwein. Hints of sunlight toasted our chilled bones and the mulled wine warmed our blood.
When night knocked, a new, inspiring light arrived to Bruges. Golden buildings mirrored on the still canals, Christmas lights a plenty, and little streets glowing like a Van Gogh night scene. We bid farewell to Bruges, Filippo’s hand in my left-hand, a bag of chocolate in the right. Such a sweet parting gift from a city I long to see in another season.