Guest Blog Post: In this article guest blogger Stephanie Staszko from MF Airport Parking reminisces about her Mini-cruise to Bruges last year…
With the disappointing summer weather and the darker days of autumn starting to draw in, I’ve been feeling lately like I need to get away for a few days so I’m ready and refreshed to tackle the cold English winter and start looking forward to the festive season. As such I’ve been reminiscing about my mini-cruise to Bruges that I took around this time last year…
Winter was approaching and I was desperately in need of a trip away. With the stress of Christmas expenditure looming and miserable weather to contend with, I needed a short, cheap break somewhere relaxing yet exciting; cue my P&O mini-cruise to Bruges with Superbreak. Seeing as I’m not the greatest fan of the whole stress of the airport for a short trip, my boyfriend and I decided that sailing to our destination could be a more fun alternative.
We decided to embark on a 2 night break, both of the night’s accommodation on-board the ship were included in the very affordable price, as was the coach which took us to and from Bruges. The first night consisted of setting sail, having some delicious food in the Four Seasons restaurant, enjoying a few drinks in the bar and getting a good night’s sleep to be ready for the following day to be spent in Bruges.
Bruges on a Sunday
We arrived in Bruges at approximately 10am after a short coach trip from the harbour in Zeebrugge, and seeing as we only booked the 2 night trip (you have the option to book an extra night at a hotel in Bruges) we had a good 8 hours of exploring to do. We arrived in Bruges on a Sunday, which has a secret benefit; everyone’s in church. Because Bruges is a very religious town, its inhabitants spend the first half of every Sunday tucked away inside the beautifully sculpted churches. So essentially, our coachload of travellers had the town to themselves for a few hours.
Taking it all in
One of the first things I’d recommend when visiting Bruges is to slow your pace. It’s only a small town and can be easily explored in a day or two, but if you try and pack too many activities into a short space of time you miss the beauty of Bruges’ breath-taking architecture. If you’re into photography then I seriously suggest freeing up some space on your memory card to take some exhilarating shots of the amazing architecture. If you’re lucky enough to arrive in Bruges on Sunday then the first few hours of the day are perfect for some uninterrupted travel photography.
Relaxing in the Bars
One of my favourite aspects of Bruges was its small, friendly bars. There was nothing better than relaxing by a crackling fire on a crisp winter morning whilst sipping on one of the hundreds of Belgian beers to choose from. The pubs over there were different to back here in the UK; they were only very small and traditionally decorated with various beer related collectibles. Shelves sporting old Belgian brews and walls covered in different beer labels and advertisements from years gone by made the bars feel smaller, but this added to the cosiness rather than detracting from it.
We fell in love with one of the bars we visited; they had just about every flavour of fruit beer you could imagine! In this particular tavern, locals sat at the bar and chatted to the bartender whilst a few tourists warmed their cockles on a Jagermeister. If you’re a beer fan you may be familiar with one of Belgium’s most popular speciality brews; Duvel. Duvel translates as the Devil and certainly puts some colour into your cheeks during the winter months!
Heading Back Home
The mini-cruise was fantastic in comparison to flying; rather than dreading the airport hassle after my time spent in Bruges I was a mere one hour coach ride away from more fun on the boat. With its evening entertainment, reasonably priced beverages and on-board cinema, travelling home didn’t seem so disheartening after all. What’s more, they offered Hoegaarden and Stella on the draft at both bars, meaning you could take a little bit of Belgium across the waters with you.
Superbreak now offer a range of 3 and 4 night mini-cruises to Amsterdam and Bruges that I think would make the perfect escape before the gloom of winter sets in. Perhaps I’ll convince my boyfriend to take me back to the cobbled streets of Bruges for a spot of Christmas shopping, after all Bruges is famous for its Christmas markets!
This guest post was written by Stephanie Staszko who writes for airport parking company SkyParkSecure. If you’re someone who feels a bit queasy on a ship it’s always easy to find cheap flights to Belgium from many UK airports.