As I leave Hotel Prinsenhof I get pushed along with the river of people heading to the central market place. While I’m weaving through the crowds, clearly disrupting the natural flow of the foot traffic overflowing from boutiques and shops, I see people around me take little notice of a tourist. Knowing my own inhibitions, I wait to see if de bruggelingen get annoyed… or even angry. But they don’t, attracting tourists is almost second nature for Bruges and its inhabitants. If you want to be the Ipad tourist or catch yourself gazing longingly at a building blocking everyone’s view, that’s ok too…I guess. Bruges is all about tourists; and that’s a good thing.
Around De Grote Markt, I feel like looking into a kaleidoscope of food and drinks; a variety of restaurants & bistros, ice cream parlors, pubs & bars, chocolate shops, waffle stands, coffee & tea houses, cheese & sausage shops… And, of course, everywhere in Bruges you will find frietkramen (fries shops) - the traditional belgian treat. It’s better with special sauce. Even better with a belgian beer.
As I walk around, I feel like I’m in a medieval dreamscape of sorts. Bruges is home to so many hidden treasures, tucked away down its many little alleyways. While I walk further I come across a harpist playing in the streets; as I listen, time stretches and a nostalgic feeling hits me. The whimsical sound of the harp with the beautiful scenic backdrop takes me back to another time. My ¹wanderlust is cured for now.
This month’s tip is: a harpist by the name of Luc Vanlaere, who performs his own compositions at Minnewater or Oud Sint-Jan from Tue until Sat, every 15:00 pm, 17:00 pm, 18.30 pm.
¹ Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.