Effortless Serendpity Belgium
Check out the second blog installment from my very talented cousin and guest blogger Maggie Lynne Siddons. She loves travel, photography and adventure. This week she transports us to Bruges, Belgium. Peruse her photography work at http://maggie-lynne-photography.com/. Enjoy and Happy Travels! -Shelley
Effortless Serendipity: Part 2 Belgium
- by Maggie Lynne Siddons
After our first few days in Paris, we woke up early Sunday morning to catch a train to Bruges, Belgium. Over the years, Bruges has held onto its unique, medieval architecture and its Dutch language despite a push to adopt French from the East. Surrounded by lyrical rushing canals and whimsical windmills, perusing the small cobblestone streets causes a longing for a simpler time. Centered around a bell tower that sounds every half hour with songs like Clare de Lune, this city is in every way a fairy tale and a gift.
TIP: If you come here, plan on gaining a few pounds because Belgium is known for it’s beer, Belgian fries, waffles and CHOCOLATE. Much of our time spent here was hopping from Chocolatiers to hole-in-the wall pubs for a quick taste of some of the best beer in the world. I’m not much of a connoisseur, but a few of these Belgian brews are made by trappist monks and are extremely hard to find. One in particular - Westvleteren 12 can only be found at the monastery itself in southern Belgium near the border of France and it's impossible to reach without a car. Luckily, we got the inside scoop at a liquor store in Brussels that secretly sold it and we stocked up on a few.
When you come to Bruges, there is one day trip by bike you absolutely cannot miss out on. The bike ride to a small outlying town called Damme takes you through the side streets of Bruges back along a forested canal complete with what seems like a never ending hallway of trees. Bicycling past the windmills and beautiful farm fields, I truly never wanted to leave. To this day that is the place that I imagine at the end of my yoga practice - cheesy I know. But it’s nice to discover places like these around the world. Whether it’s the middle of the Sahara desert or an enchanted forest in Belgium, knowing that settings of complete peace and serenity like this exist is enough to carry you through your darkest hours.
Belgium surprised me in many ways. There is no sense of urgency to run from one historically significant monument to another. Just an all-encompassing influence to stroll along the cobble-stoned streets and admire what used to be.
I will leave with yet another sentiment encouraging you to start planning your next trip. My 95 year-old grandmother has said many times, “If there is one thing I can look back on in my life and feel completely at peace with, it’s the fact that I have seen the world. It’s the only thing that’s truly worth the money.” Coming from a woman who grew up during the Great Depression and mainly shops at the dollar store, this truly is saying a lot. Once you’ve made the seven hour plane trip across the Atlantic and stepped onto the European continent, you will be forever entranced and addicted to it’s wonder and at times - ultimate serenity.
Keywords: Belgium, Bruges, Travel, Travel Photographer, international travel, maggie lynne, maggie lynne photography, maggie lynne siddons
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