A continent laid out as a mere flat canvas is ought to be explored from one country to the next. Europe is blessed with that. Just a shy 2 hours train ride from Paris is Bruges, the Capital of Belgium. From the romanticised mainstream destination that is Paris, to a carefully preserved UNESCO heritage that is Belgium. The transition is seamless. Almost as seamless as the transition from 22 degrees to 13 degrees C. Knowing it was summer all through out Europe, we weren’t really ready.
Museo du Chocolat was something not my mom and I would dare miss out. After all, it’s all about Belgian Chocolates. And inheriting the sweet tooth from her, made all the experience all too immersive. From the humble beginnings of the cocoa bean, up to the final product released to the palate. It was a spectacle of sweet and bold and bitter all together. Imagine a chunk of Belgian Chocolate dropped in a glass, mixed with hot milk as it melts its goodness alongside. It was delicious. And comforting. Especially trapped in a 13 degree weather wearing only a romper and a basic Uniqlo jacket.
But this haven’t stopped us from exploring this little city. Having been learned that Bruges is one with UNESCO to preserve their culture and be part of a world heritage site. Our hotel was tall and narrow. Accessed only by a spiral staircase leading to the loft. It feels like as if we were trapped in a heirloom of a dwarf, but priced ridiculously high. This medieval historic settlement was made possible because the government forbids its people to stray away from the historic design of the old dutch. For in the midst of the advancement of technologies and the booming of skyscrapers, UNESCO made sure to preserve the old. Even as simple as changing the layout of a window need at least 2 years of approval. Which to me is both absurd and amazing. Absurd, how the government was able to micromanage their people. Amazing, because it turns out consistently breathtaking.
And Bruges, amongst elsewhere in Belgium, was like a walk back in time. Away from the modernisation of the world, away from the pollution that is unfurled. It was beautifully preserved and presented, just like how I imagined the old.