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First Impressions of Bruges

Coming from Ukraine, Bruges is the city I was going to live in for the next year. Leaving my hometown, I didn't expect it to be such a wonderful place. When I finally arrived upon the railway station I thought "hello Soviet Union?”. But 10 minutes later, my my opinion changed to 'happy-birthday child'-mood. Why that? Because I was truly impressed and surprised by this town. With its architecture, good mood and impressive looks.

Despite the fact that it was pouring rain in Brussels, Bruges welcomed me with sunny weather. Low clouds clustered in the sky like marshmallows and the sun flashed in between them, showing me the most well-preserved medieval city in Belgium. You can see it and you can touch it with your hand out the window of the bus. Everything is so close, like the church passing by overhead.  It's not Lviv, not Kiev, where the streets are big and wide. This is the Old Europe, where the cars don’t fit at all, and big buses feel like they are elephants in a tea shop.

In this inexpressible feeling of childlike happiness I thanked the glory of the architecture and the atmosphere itself. How flags were flipping overhead, how people looked at the passing bus I was on, how large the windows of nearby houses are. In that moment, my inner child went over the top. I felt like in a new world, completely unfamiliar and unknown. I felt pleasantly lost in a beautiful city. It felt like magic to wander through the narrow passages between the streets, the backyards, the parks and avenues. But here! a sharp turn again - and my ride on the bus came to an end. I was at the door of my College.

Hours later, when I finally knew where to go, rushing with my bags through the city, passing tourist quickly and giving fast and tenacious glances at shops, chocolates, handmade products, to the central square and a monument. I just couldn’t believe it: I would be here for a year! A city of amazing beauty. I hope never to get used to this wondrous place where houses are taken care of so accuretely. Where colour is brought by local cafes, shops and even people. How beautiful that the signs of the shops don’t spoiling the general view of the city. And what a beauties the towers are here.

My new house is surprisingly in a wonderful way. I live in a small and quiet area of the city. The facade of the house goes to the square a little more. Nearby flows the channel – I don’t know, may be local call it rivers... But to walk in the morning along them, to look at the swans that float smoothly in the cold water, into the fog, smoothly descending to the city - it's atmospheric, charming and exciting.