Won’t You Come Visit Me in Brugge?

Oh, how I prefer Bruges to Paris! (And, as it turns out, Brussels!)

Everything slows down a little bit in Bruges. The buildings are prettier, the people are nicer, even the tourists are more pleasant to be around. The shopping is more fun and the chocolate more plentiful.

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We could go for a boat ride. . .

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. . . or a walk along a canal.

Somewhere along the hour-long train journey from Paris to Brussels I came down with a cold. By the time I got to Bruges, the sun was setting, it was starting to rain, and I was sick. My first hotel choice was booked full; so was the second. I was threading my way between crowds.

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We could nap with the swans. . .

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. . . or pick up a new hobby.

I told myself resolutely that my third choice wasn’t my last hope, because God surely had a plan, and there were of course more than three hotels in Bruges. My third choice had been my first choice, except for I initially read the guide as saying it was 15 minutes from the center instead of 5, and when I rang the bell at the Royal Steward Bed & Breakfast I had a good long minute to contemplate my position.

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We could look for the details that others miss.

A woman opened the door and I said, in a Puddleglummish sort of way, “Are you all booked?” And she looked at me in a slightly puzzled way and said, “No, I have a room.” And I nearly wept with joy. Her name was Maggie, living (with her Belgian husband) in Bruges from Scotland for nearly forty years, and she had just had a cancellation.

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We could look up. . .

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. . . and up . . .

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. . . as high as we could see.

She set me up in the most charming double (complete with mirror-faced  wardrobe and chandelier) with a hot-water heater for midnight tea. She fetched me an extra warm, fluffy comforter and told me not to worry about details until tomorrow. She then encouraged me to go to the bistro right on the corner and have some soup before bed.

I almost cried.

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We could wander down an alleyway. . .

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. . . and turn left at the bridge . . .

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. . . or right at the garden.

She proceeded to mother me in a kindly way all week, reproving my “San Francisco winter” jacket and lending me a proper down jacket. I went out and bought my own “Bruges winter” jacket, which was quite fun and not at all too expensive. She worried about me eating enough and drinking all my tea.

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We could pick new flowers for our windowboxes. . .

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. . . or wreaths for our front doors.

At breakfast she would pour her tea and join me, talking with me and the other guests about all the funny things that had happened and people she’d met (and who had met each other) at her humble abode.

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We could be startled by a handrail. . .

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. . . twice!

And when her scheduled guests arrived to take all the rooms, she moved me up to a personal spare bedroom that her sister usually takes when she visits.

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We could study chimneys. . .

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. . . and spires.

I spent the most pleasant, relaxing days of my trip there, and everyone must go see her when you come to visit.

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And of course, we'd practice our postcard shots!

Because you will come visit, won’t you?

http://www.royalstewart.be

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2 thoughts on “Won’t You Come Visit Me in Brugge?

  1. Dani says:

    My roommate, Cristina, and I traveld for two weeks after our year in Heidelberg was done. Brugge was the place we vacationed from our vacation! Delightful!

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