We made it to Bruges last night at about 7 PM and were welcomed by a complimentary bus ride to our hostel. We offered to pay the driver, but he said “no I’ll just tell you when it’s your stop.” After getting off the bus, about 5 different locals gave us directions without us even asking. Basically, the people here are super nice.
We hung out in our hostel bar last night. Travelling tip: ALWAYS stay at hostels with a bar. You will meet tons more people that way. Locals too, since they will come visit their friends that are working. I happened to talk for hours with a local hippie last night. When I say hippie, I mean hippie. Like, build tree houses and occupy forests for months at a time hippie. Really, he told me all about it. A very interesting person. We are in the Flemish region of Belgium, so that is his primary language. He also speaks Dutch, Spanish, French, and English. I am wishing more and more that the US stressed the importance of knowing multiple languages. Almost everyone over here is multilingual. He is not a fan of America, like most Europeans (except for Germans), but we had a great conversation because I asked him all about Bruges. Basically, the locals here are bored. It’s really pretty here, but when you’re around it all the time, it’s not that exciting. He is going on holiday soon, and says he doesn’t want to come back for a year.
Today we rented bikes from our hostel and did a self-tour of the city. The city center is gorgeous. Pictures below, of course. Not that I know what any of these buildings are, but they were fun to look at. We eventually found a bike path that went along the river on the outskirts of the city. Really lovely. We each got a Belgian waffle for lunch- the best waffle ever. Covered in chocolate and strawberries. The plan for tonight is to sample what Belgium is also famous for- it’s flavored beers. There are hundreds of different flavors, and they are all 8+% alcohol. We’ll see what happens!