In Bruges

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“Maybe that’s what hell is, the entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges.”

 

Iako bih Kolinu Farelu poverovala čak i da tvrdi da je Zemlja ravna ploča, osećala sam da ova priča ne pije vodu što možda ima veze sa tim što nisam odrasla u Dablinu (wink wink). Ne znam. Moj brat je ideju da iz Amsterdama vozom “skoknemo” do Briža prihvatio sa oduševljenjem čemu sam se i nadala. Ono na šta nikako nismo računali je to da će on na dan putovanja dobiti visoku temperaturu i da ćemo morati da promenimo pet linija do finalne destinacije. Kao što možete da predpostavite, putovanje je bilo… well… dražesno. Pored poluživog Stevana skakutala sam ja, puna energije i novootkrivenog elana sa dva kofera i ručnom torbom. Dok je on psovao InterRail, ja sam fotografisala predele koje smo ostavljali za sobom i posmatrala saputnike u, uglavnom, prepunim vozovima. Kasnije te večeri stigli smo na omanju železničku stanicu u Brižu, a entuzijazam i uzbuđenje su malo popustili pod težinom kofera.

 

To be honest, I’d believe Collin Farell if he told me that the Earth is flat, but I felt like this quote does not really sound quite right, which is probably connected to the fact that I wasn’t born in Dublin (wink wink). My brother was thrilled with the idea of visiting Bruges right after Amsterdam, which I secretly hoped would happen. The thing we didn’t count on was the fact that on the day of our trip he would catch a cold and we would have to change five diferent trains to our final destination. As you can imagine, the journey was… well… magnificent. Barely-alive Stevan and myself, full of energy and newfound elan dragging two suitcases and a handbag. While he was cursing at InterRail, I was entertaining myself with snapping pictures of the landscapes we were leaving behind. When we arrived at the small station in Bruges later that evening, enthusiasm and excitement were almost smashed under the weight of our heavy luggage.

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Putovanje se odužilo u beskraj pa mi je prvi refleks bio da zagrlim recepcionara odmah po dolasku u hotel. Thank you, Sir, you are very kind. Dva klub sendviča i jedna topla kupka kasnije, ponovo sam se osećala kao jedinstvena pahuljica kakva jesam. Stevan je poluonesvešćen zaspao manje više čim je ugledao krevet.

Jutro je definitivno bilo pametnije od večeri – bez temperature, a sa impresivnom paletom praznika za nepce. Složili smo se da bi bilo najpametnije da se Stevan danas kreće na relaciji sauna – soba, a ja sam bez nekog naročitog plana izašla na ulicu i uputila se u nepoznatom pravcu. Nepoznati pravac u Brižu uglavnom znači da idete ka glavnom trgu. Kupila sam fišek čokoladnih jagoda iako sam par minuta pre toga doručkovala. To je zbog toga što se kalorije na putovanju broje tako što ih delite na pola. Probajte, meni nije pomoglo, ali možda vama uspe. Elem, možda baš zbog tih jagoda, rešim naprasno da i ovde u Brižu iznajmim bicikl, pa smo se dvotočkaš i ja nedugo zatim obreli na živopisnim ulicama grada koji se polako budio. Uz bicikl dobila sam i mapu okolnih sela do kojih je moguće doći cikliranjem i uprkos katastrofalnoj kondiciji za duže biciklističke putanje, odlučila sam se za jedno od njih metodom “šta nam bog da”. Tako je počeo jedan od najboljih dana u mom životu.

 

The journey took forever, so my first reflex was to hug the receptionist right after arriving to the hotel. Thank you, Sir, you are an angel. Two club-sandwiches and one warm bath later, I felt like a unique snowflake that I am. Stevan fainted on the bed and went to sleep as soon as he saw it.

Morning IS definitely wiser than the evening – with no fever and with loads of delicious breakfast food. Stevan decided not to leave room that day, and I spontaneously decided to go for a walk, see what happens. When you’re wandering the streets of Bruges, you’re bound to end up at the main square. I bought some chocolate strawberries, nevermind I had breakfast a couple minutes ago. That’s because calories you’re eating while on holiday do not count. Do try it, it didn’t work out for me, but you might be more lucky. Anyway, calorie-wise, I suddenly decided to rent a bike, so I was soon out and about on the colorful streets of the waking city. Along with the bike I got a map of the nearby villages reachable by cycling and despite my incompetence for long biking routes, I decided to visit one of them by using the well known method ’’Que sera sera’’. That’s how one of the best days in my life started.

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Voziti bicikl ovim predelima ravno je ekstremnom sportu. Sve je tako prokleto prelepo i nemoguće je sastaviti čistih 20m cikliranja bez stajanja da se nešto usput škljocne. Na prvoj raskrsnici izvan grada sam, naravno, promašila skretanje, ali to me je samo odvelo do seoske kuće preslatkog starog para, bakice i dekice koji ne govore ni reč engleskog ali smo se na kraju ipak nekako sporazumeli.

Damme je seoce udaljeno od Briža 7km. Ne znam koliko vremena će vam biti potrebno da se biciklom dovezete iz centra grada jer sam na svakom ćošku stajala i fotografisala :). Ono što znam je da sam tek ovde, u ovom Belgijskom selu ukapirala šta tačno znači raj na zemlji. Zelena prostranstva, polja pšenice, divlji konji i vetrenjače, bajkovite fasade i nebo koje obećava da vam neće biti potrebna jakna, eventualno domaći kolač sa belgijskom čokoladom i čajem u šarmantnoj lokalnoj čajdžinici Tante Marie. Kopam po sećanju u nadi da ću pronaći još koji detalj da bih vam u potpunosti dočarala svoje iskustvo, ali jedino čega se sasvim jasno sećam je glasno lupanje srca, kilometri slobode i trenutak koji sam sebično zgrabila samo za sebe.

 

Cycling through this scenery is equal to an extreme sport. Everything is so goddamn beautiful and it’s impossible to complete the whole 20m without stopping for a pic. At the first crossroad out of town I naturally missed the turn, but that just led me to meeting lovely countryhouse owners – the most delightful old couple, grandma and grandpa who didn’t speak the word of English, but we managed to understand each other anyway.

Damme is a little village 7km away from Bruges. I can’t really tell how long the ride lasted, because I stopped and took pictures on every corner 🙂 Right there, in the middle of nowhere, I finally figured out what heaven on earth really means. Green pastures, fields of wheat, wild horses and windmills, fairy tale facades and the sky that promises you won’t need a jacket, only a homemade cookie with Belgian chocolate and a cup of tea in the charming local tea house Tante Marie. I’m digging through my memory in hope to find some other details so I can fully describe my experience to you, but the only thing that comes to mind is that feeling of a restless heart, miles and miles of freedom and moments of pure joy that I’ll forever cherish.

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Znala sam da nakon ovoga malo toga može da me obori s nogu i delimično sam bila u pravu. Sutradan smo se vozom uputili u Ostend, gradić na moru, na 10 minuta vožnje od Briža. Iz ove perspektive, imam utisak da ovaj grad ima samo dve atrakcije: beskonačnu peščanu plažu sa pogledom na misteriozno Severno more i činjenicu da je u njemu Marvin Gay napisao Sexual Healing. Zapravo i više nego dovoljno.

 

I knew that after “Damme exprerience” it would take a miracle to sweep me of my feet again and I was right. Tomorrow morning we went to Ostend, a sea town, 10 minute train ride away from Bruges that has only two legit attractions: infinitely long beach with the impressive view of the mysterious North sea and the fact that it was a home to Marvin Gay way back while he was writing Sexual Healing. Sold!

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Prijateljski savet:

  1. Ne mogu dovoljno puta da ponovim: bicikl, bicikl, bicikl!
  2. Izadjite iz grada! Za obilazak Briža potrebno vam je svega nekoliko sati, ali najbolje stvari nalaze se tamo gde nema vodiča sa zastavicom.
  3. Čokolada. Mnogo čokolade. Najbolje prodavnice potražite OVDE, moj lični favorit je Dumon Chocolatier.
  4. Usporite. Spavajte duže, provedite bezobrazno mnogo vremena u Spa centru hotela, doručkujte lagano, šetajte lenjo… Jedino je sigurno – ovde se nikome ne žuri.
  5. Hotel Navarra. Nalazi se na par minuta šetnje do glavnog trga, u istorijskom zdanju koje potiče iz 17. veka. Preko cele godine, ovaj hotel nudi mogućnost rezervisanja tri noćenja po ceni dva za check in nedeljom, ponedeljkom i utorkom. Jej!

 

Friendly advice:

  1. I can’t stress this enough: bicycle, bicycle, bicycle!
  2. Get outta town! For sightseeing Bruges you only need a couple of hours, but bear in mind that the best things usually take place out of the spotlight.
  3. Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Find the best shops HERE, my personal favorite is Dumon Chocolatier.
  4. Slow down. Sleep longer, spend a ludicrous amount of time in the Spa center of the hotel, breakfast leisurely, walk lazily… One thing is certain – nobody here is in a hurry.
  5. Hotel Navarra. It’s located a few minutes walk away from the main square, in the historical building that dates back to 17. century. Also, this hotel offers a possibility of booking three nights for the price of two if you check in on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. Hurray!

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Postoje putovanja i postoje PUTOVANJA. Misliš i vidiš za nijansu dalje. Teži si za taj jedan zlatni dan i više ništa nije isto. Znaš nešto što drugi ne znaju. Preispituješ sve i svakoga. Očekuješ više i osvrćeš se češće, jer sada znaš. Znaš da je trava tamo negde zaista zelenija i da slobodni konji trče za nijansu spretnije od onih drugih. I eto, možda je baš to taj pakao o kojem Kolin Farel govori.

 

There are journeys and then there are JOURNEYS. You think and you see a bit further. You are richer for that one golden day and nothing is the same anymore. You know something that others don’t. You question everything and everybody. You expect more and look back more often, because now you know. You know that the grass really is greener on the other side and that wild horses run for a hair faster than the other ones. And now I’m beginning to understand the Hell of which Colin Farell speaks of.

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Fotografije: Marija Pecić//The Sad Bear

Prevod: Branimir Šućur

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5 thoughts on “In Bruges

  1. Jako lep post! Stvarno, svaka ti čast!
    Ceo post mi je nekako, kao da čitam knjigu, što mi je baš onako inspirisajuće. ☻

    Eh, da su putovanja besplatna, pa da odmah stigne i neki drug post sa putovanja..

    Uživaj u vikendu! ☺

    -Jovan

    1. Jovane, lepo si to rekao, da su besplatna, gde bi nam kraj bio 🙂 ali dobro, uvek volim da verujem da nešto što nije lako dostupno ima još veću vrednost jednom kada dođeš do toga 🙂
      Hvala ti na divnom komentaru :*

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