Where it all began & it gave us a taster for more
In 2005 we decided that we would experience our first overseas Christmas market.
The perfect choice for us was Bruges, not only for its lovely architecture and chocolate, but Belgium is also very accessible from the UK, particularly from the south east.
Gary loves to drive, so it's going to be a road trip & mini break all in one.
The journey to Bruges from the Eurotunnel terminal at Calais is only 70 miles (113km), the majority on motorways so you can expect to cover that in under 90 minutes.
So as we had time in hand, and we're on a road trip we decided to pop into Lille in France on the way.
We headed straight for the town centre and entered the underground carpark where the entrance was just off the main square.
What we didn’t expect on ascending from the car park, was to be greeted by a huge Ferris wheel.
Was every town entering the festive spirit?
Buoyed by the joyous atmosphere and listening to our Christmas anthems, we headed onto Bruges.
The feeling and memories of our first Christmas market will forever remain, but there are always stand out points on any trip. Here are but a few…
The pleasure of standing in the freezing cold, late into the evening sipping a hot gluhwein.
Watching children and adults trying to master the art of ice skating.
The Historic centre of Bruges has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2000 and it is easy to see why.
The architecture in the main Market Square is wonderful.
These markets aren’t only for children; you see people of all ages are enjoying themselves.
Of an evening the markets are mainly frequented by adults.
The weather isn’t too much of an issue, the mist and cold goes unnoticed, as long as you wrap up warm.
Bruges is in the Flanders region of Belgium and the main language is Dutch (Flemish). Luckily for us their English was fantastic, otherwise there would have been a lot of pointing.
We stayed in a luxury boutique hotel, named Hotel De Orangerie, the hotel was in a fantastic location, extremely central and right next to one of Bruges’s infamous canals.
Additionally, they had car parking facilities which was great for us.
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