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Stories from Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Clean Living

timI didn't notice what Bruges was so much as what it wasn't.

It wasn't big.

Nor was it a town where homeless youth loitered outside all night or where whores ply their trade out in the open.

It didn't have trash littered streets.

Nor did a perpetual party atmosphere rule, courtesy of coffee houses selling marijuana.

But what was Bruges? In short, the perfect opposite of the city I just arrived from, the antitheses of Amsterdam.

Bruges felt so clean and straight - a hyper-quaint medieval village with cute pointed spires, clock towers, narrow buildings, and graceful waterways.

In so many ways I loved Amsterdam for being dirty. But entering Bruges was like stepping out of a smokey bar into the fresh night air - I suddenly realized how polluted my lungs were and enjoyed a deep cleansing breath. top

Shop facades along Bruges' Markt square. A canal in old Bruges snakes between historic medieval buildings. Worn paving stones cover the street in the old center of Bruges. Attractive ironwork protected the old treasury in Bruges' Belfort belfry. Visitors can climb the belfr'Ys 366 stairs for an 83 high meter view of the town.. An overhead view of Bruges' 13th century medieval center.