Yesterday, while having lunch at Artie, the waiter asked me if I was visiting for the first time. I answered in the positive and he replied by excitedly telling me that I was going to have a good time. He said, “The first time you visit Bruges, it will be fantastic. The second time, not so fantastic anymore. So no point visit for the second, third, or fourth time.” I was surprised. What an interesting way of marketing a city!
But he wasn’t marketing the city. He was simply telling the truth. Today is my second day in Bruges; and I was more excited window shopping that seeing the sites I have already seen during my less than half a day DIY walking tour of the city. It is truly a small city, and many of the must-do and must-see things can be done in a day. In fact, if did not have to spend 2 hours traveling from Charleroi yesterday, I would have gone on a short day trip to Ghent today.
One thing I like about Bruges though is how friendly and accommodating the locals are. There are only 20,000 of them in the city, and I read from the hotel guide that during the peak months, there are more tourists than locals in Bruges. The locals like the tourists (which is nothing short of amazing!), so much so that while taking photos on one of the bridges yesterday, a car stopped so I could frame my shot better.
I don’t think I’ll return to Bruges as a tourist. The waiter was right, the city is too small to have anything more to offer after having visited once. But I think I will return to hang out. The locals are awesome, the food is good, and I like the city’s atmosphere. Next time I visit, maybe I’ll book at room closer to the city center and spend my days writing and editing article drafts. That would be an amazing life, I think. 🙂
August 09, 2016 | Bruges, Belgium