Written on the 26th of April 2018
This is the end of day two here in Belgium and we have spent the whole day being on the go.
The day began with waking up early and getting ready to go to the train station to visit the Parlamentarium. The Parlamentarium is basically a sort of museum that is right by the European Parliament. After a short train ride, we arrived at the Parliamentarium and began to explore around. There were no real tour guides, however we had access to earpieces connected to an electronic device which played audio information about the history of Europe, and important events. We got to know the founding history of the European Union, its mission, and its importance.
I found the whole thing quite cool, but for me most arguably the coolest was the cinema room. In the Parlamentarium, there is a big circular room where the walls are covered with a big screen. In there, different short documentary type films were being played about the European Union ranging from how it functions to why it exists. However, the reason why this room was so cool according to me was because one of the films that were shown was really inspiring. It was about why the EU existed and how it worked to better the lives of millions of people. The message was quite similar to all the other films that were being shown in the room, but it was the cinematic experience of it that made it so special. I still find it difficult to explain it but the closest I can come to in real words is that it was Instellar-esque in it’s cinematic style, and that made it very inspiring.
Nevertheless, after our visit to the Parlamentarium, we went to the train station to catch our train to Brugge. Brugge is city in the north-western part of Belgium and is the largest city in the province of West Flanders. It is said to be a beautiful city full of squares and streets accompanied with old architectural houses and churches. To get to Brugge from Brussels, one just takes a train for around one hour and that is it. However, when we were at the train station, we got to know that our train was substantially late, so we had to wait for some time. After some time of waiting, we got on the train and parted to Brugge. After around one hour, we arrived, and boy were we not disappointed. The whole city is full of beautiful houses, canals and churches that made the human mind wonder how much work had been put in place to build such a city.
We decided that everyone could go and ‘’do their own thing’’ and explore the city in their way of liking. I went with Alvin and Bekzod and we went around for some shopping and exploring. We took all the touristy photos of ourselves and went to get some good traditional Belgian fries.
Most importantly however, me and Bekzod bought some traditional hand-made Belgian chocolate in a fancy chocolate shop and I actually ended up paying 50 Euros for the lot. After more exploring and shopping, where we visited a second-hand shop full of cool clothes, some in the group decided to mark it the end for the day and go home meanwhile others decided to stay.
I took the decision to go back to Brussels and thereby my trip to Brugge was over. If someone is reading this and thinking of visiting Belgium, I really recommend visiting the city of Brugge. The whole experience with all the old buildings and churches surrounding you gives this cozy feeling that not many other cities can muster to do. Furthermore, there are really good shopping streets in the city with friendly shopkeepers gladly giving a helping hand to find the best chocolate store even though you are not actually buying something from their shop. All in all, I recommend going to Brugge cent pour cent.
Picture 1: The short-film in the cinema room that gave me goose bumps.
Picture 2: Partial view in of the main squares in Brugge.
Picture 3: One of the architectural wonders found in Brugge.
By Keyvan Habibi
Member of the Travel Committee Spring 2018