Thursday & Friday 4-5 May 2006
Highlights: Meeting fellow backpackers, Bruges Market Square, Chocó-Story Museum, Surviving (just) the Belgium Beer Challenge, the Canals
Setting out early I managed to find the BusAbout pickup in Paris to begin this new phase of the trip. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. There are two buses with one going direct to Amsterdam and the other going to Bruges with about 44 people on my Bruges bus.
On arrival at 1 pm in Bruges I checked into the Snuffel Hostel and I did some washing before going on an informative Bruges walking tour. I shared a dorm with 3 other people, one couple and one girl (Belinda). After the walking tour Belinda and I had a dinner in the Market Square, a luxury to be sure.
Next morning got up and went out to discover the city of Bruges. The city in the 16th century was huge, over 200,000 people mostly due to ships coming up the canals. However the canals eventually proved too hard to sail up (for big ships) and the city basically stopped at that stage. Currently there are 116,000 residents. As a result the city looks very old and historic.
After getting myself lost I visited the Chocó-Story and enjoyed the museum. Belgium is famous for; beer, waffles, chips & chocolate which I happily gave a try!
The city hall here is magnificent. During the night I undertook the 5 beer challenge, all at least 8% strength. I actually had a few more as well and somehow I found my way back to the hostel at around 2.30 am (this city is still awake at that time)!
Onto Amsterdam now, I’ve heard a lot of interesting stories.