India never really experiences Autumn, at least for the western parts that I have frequented. But the word Autumn conjures up an image of a beautiful Windows 98 wallpaper, of a parallel lane of trees standing almost helplessly as the leaves that they have nurtured for so long bid adieu, to make room for new ones. There is a nice rustic feel associated with this scene, and it is the same rustic feel that I got in Bruges, Belgium.
Everything about Bruges give you that rustic feel, and it is supposed to, because it is one of the few left medieval towns left in Europe. The buildings are made up of red bricks, akin to what Qutub Minar is built of. A unique phenomenon seen in some of the buildings there is the stair-shaped roof, which was considered as a sign of affluence in the early eons. The canals, flowing in between these medieval buildings, and the age-old windmills add to the bucolic vibes of the town.
We had reached Bruges in the evening, and instantly hopped on the night tour. While the places shown in the tour were good, the tour was mostly ruined by the heavy rains we had to combat. Halfway into the tour, the most exciting thing about the tour became the free beer that was coming post that. The night seemingly started getting better as we started gulping down the Jupiter, for we also got some extra free beer coupons from the ladies that we were chatting to. And I like to humor myself thinking that it was because of our irresistible charm and had nothing to do with them being teetotalers. 😛
The next day we rented out some bicycles, and it is actually the best way to get around the small town. We zoomed past the market square on the cobbled stones and raced through the small pathways engulfed by the trees. And then I was reminded of the Chaar Kadam song from PK, which also reinforces the rustic theme through the bicycles and walks and boat rides. Then, we embarked on a Legend of Bruges walking tour, which took us down the historical lane, of French sins and Flemish bravery. And since it’s a crime to leave Belgium without having waffles and French fries, we serenaded ourselves with those just before leaving back for home.
Bruges is a laid-back place, with not really much to do except feel the nostalgia that it has lived. But then, some places are simple, just meant for taking a stroll, along canals, on cobbled stones adorned with autumn leaves, while humming songs. After all, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!
All pictures used are mine and should not be reproduced without permission.