It is often said that travelling is less about the destination than it is about the journey. This turned out to be true, as my original planning for the weekend was a city trip to Marrakech, Morocco. Unfortunately, due to a heavy storm in the Netherlands, the flight was cancelled 15 minutes before departure and we did not have a chance to book an equivalent flight.
Somewhat disappointed, Hope and I now reluctantly decided to go to our lectures. However, it turned out that due to storm, public transportation was completely shut down in all of the Netherlands. We were stuck in Eindhoven central station, unable to fly to Morocco and unable to go home in the direction of Amsterdam. This day was getting worse every minute. Our day consisted of drinking free coffee and walking aimlessly in Eindhoven. After spending more than 7 hours stuck there, we were called by my brother.
It turned out he was going to Bruges for the weekend with his girlfriend and he asked if we would like to join them.
He had to make a short detour, but our journey finally continued, through heavy rain, on our way to Bruges.
Once there, we immediately went for a Belgian beer. And another one. And possibly some more. The bars in Bruges are very ‘gezellig’ (Dutch for ‘nice; cozy; good atmosphere’). The main central square is ‘de Grote Markt’, and the best place for a drink is only a 2-minute walk away. It is called ‘Eiermarkt’ and there are some great bars there. Here, I took the first photo of the trip: the ‘Halletoren’ by night.
The next day, the storm and rain were completely gone and the sky was a vibrant blue. Starting the day with a Belgian waffle turned out to be a great idea. This sweet indulgence is typically Belgian food; you can get them everywhere in Bruges.
We did not have an exact plan as for what we wanted to see, since the centre of Bruges is beautiful all-around and just strolling through the city would offer more than enough opportunities for photos. The colourful and eccentric houses, the towers and churches, the canals and the little chocolate shops were all very photogenic. There are two pink houses on the Grote Markt that caught my eye. They definitely stood out from the rest. That being said, almost all of the houses in Bruges are worthy of a photo.
The Super Fisheye lens was especially good for capturing the houses of Bruges in very interesting ways. This lens enables you to capture beautiful two- or three-story houses entirely from just a few meters away, while also capturing the surrounding, like little alleys.
The great thing about Brugge is that the city centre is very compact. You can walk everywhere: you don’t need public transport, taxis or bicycles. This was especially handy since the sun started to set, which meant ‘golden hour’ was upon us.
Golden hour is the time just before sunset or just after sunrise. It is ideal for photography, since there is warmer, softer light and shadows are beautiful during this short period. I was able to capture a lot of the important places, like the towers, the Grote Markt and the canals during this short period, since they were all so relatively close to each other.
Another revelation was Bruges by night. The city is lit up beautifully by night: both towers stand out with their orange-yellow hue.
More importantly though, there is an old house with a restaurant seen from the Rozenhoedkaai.
This place has a tree with beautiful light decorations in it, which made it such a great place to photograph at night. Especially since the Halletoren was also in the background.
This area offers great views and in the neighborhood are also some Michelin-star restaurants.
So, while Bruges was definitely no Marrakech, it was possibly just as great.
The Belgian food, the beautiful architecture, nice people, great beer and lovely bars all contributed to a memorable experience.
You definitely do not need to step into a plane to see great things and have a nice weekend: unexpectedly nice destinations may just be around the corner.