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Many tourists are struck by the beautiful small white or yellow almshouses all over the historic centre of Bruges. They are not unique for Bruges, some other cities in Flanders, Holland (de hofjes) and Germany also have almshouses.
With its canals and its typically mediaeval architecture, Bruges is a truly delightful city, and an excellent destination for a change of scene, less than 3 hours from Paris by train. We spent a weekend there at the end of October. It was a chance to get away from the crowds, without having to worry about cold weather.
It’s an easy enough journey – a couple of hours to Brussels on the Eurostar and then an hour by train (there’s one every twenty minutes or so) to Bruges. And, once in the City, it’s somewhere you can easily explore on foot.
In and around Bruges, quite a few green areas are waiting to be discovered, an ideal option to get away from the humdrum of the town centre for a bit.