In Bruges: I’d be okay with getting whacked here

This city really is as beautiful as that assassin movie made it out to be.  It’s almost too beautiful.  It’s beautiful in the way a movie set is beautiful, that it defies all reality in its perfection.  The cobbled, windy streets; the horse drawn carriages; the canals.  Walking around, I needed to remind myself that people actually live here.  Those windy streets have actual houses that actual Belgians sleep in.  And not all of them get up every day to make lace and pralines.  Yes, tourism plays a huge part in the economy, but there is also a local scene beyond the frites sold at every street corner.  Even in my short time here, I started to find some local haunts.  I ate at Pas Partout, where I think I was the only non-local there.  I got an authentic-tasting mushroom soup, potatoes, and half chicken for nine Euros.  Sure, the restaurant didn’t have a view of the clock tower, and mussels were not on the menu, but that’s not the real Bruges.  I felt like I was one of the locals.  Well, almost.  Everyone around me spoke French or Dutch.  When I didn’t talk, I felt like a local.  I also had a lovely picnic lunch with fixings from the “golden triangle:” an intersection with the best bakery, butcher, and fruit stand in the city.  Sitting on a bench in the adjacent Astrid Park, I watched a woman play fetch with her dog next to a pretty fountain surrounded by pretty flowers.  The location was still idyllic, but the dog didn’t understand the rules of fetch, which made me happy.  It’s not all perfect in Bruges.  Some dogs here are ignorant.  That’s something I wouldn’t have learned had I stayed in the city center with the tour groups.

Apr 2010
POSTED BY travelbugrobert

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