Sunday, September 15, 2013

MEDIEVAL TOWN OF BRUGES


Picturesque cobbled lanes and dreamy canals link exceptionally photogenic market squares lined with soaring towers, historic churches and old whitewashed almshouses. And there’s plenty of it. The only downside is that everyone knows. That means that there’s an almost constant crush of tourists, especially through the summer months. So to really enjoy Bruges stay overnight (day trippers miss the fabulous evening floodlighting) and try to visit midweek (avoiding floods of British weekenders). There’s a special charm in spring when daffodils carpet the tranquil begijnhof or in winter (except Christmas) when you can have the magnificent, if icy, town almost to yourself.

Even by Belgian standards, Bruges has a poor reputation for its weather. Compared to other western European cities like London and Paris, the weather in Bruges is colder and more damp. Even in July and August, average daily maximum temperatures struggle to exceed 21° C (70° F) and rainfall averages 203 mm (8 in) a month. After October, temperatures drop off quite rapidly and winter months are damp and chilly.
The summer visitor should always be prepared for rain in Bruges and that warm and sunny weather is not constant during that season.

The summer visitor should always be prepared for rain in Bruges and that warm and sunny weather is not constant during that season.
When you’re planning to visit Bruges you can easily hop on a bike and start to discover the city. There are various bike rental companies spread over the city and some of them also offer the opportunity to do a guided bike tour. A local guide will take you across Bruges highlights within a few hours.

Once over the encircling canal and inside the city walls, Bruges closes in around you with street after street of charming historic houses and a canal always nearby. In recent years, the city has turned so much towards tourism the locals sometimes complain they are living in Disney-land. The newly cleaned houses should however not confuse you; they are truly centuries old. And if you can get away from the chocolate-shops, you can visit some more quiet areas s.a. St. Anna, and imagine what life in the late middle ages must have been like.




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