Portugal or Brugges??

Old Mar 7th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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Portugal or Brugges??

An unusual choice, I know. We have to fly open jaw to get home from our trip to Paris. We can choose to spend our last few days either in Lisbon or Brussels. I've been to both, but MANY years ago. Some thoughts on which one might be the better of the two places to end our trip? Not so concerned about museums... we just like to walk around and explore, hang in cafes, see beautiful places... Travel to both places from Paris is feasible (already found cheap airfare).
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 06:56 AM
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Postings like this are a never-ending source of amazement and amusement.

I know which I would choose, but I'm sure for completely different reasons to you. If you can't be bothered to do any of your own research and make up your own minds, toss a coin.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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I would choose Lisbon, which is much more interesting as a city than Bruges, which in my mind is stuck in amber, and visually more attractive than Brussels. But if you like Art Nouveau, then Belgium would be the choice.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 07:01 AM
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If you chose Brussels you can take day trips by train to many other cities - even Amsterdam.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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What you said, Michael, is kind of what's stuck in my memory about the two... that maybe Lisbon is a bit more of an interesting city. Also, I'm assuming it's much less visited than Brussels. Would you agree? But I do love the Art Nouveau style and my husband likes the idea of having so much good beer within his grasp... We probably wouldn't have time for day trips as we'd only have a few days in whichever city we choose to leave from. Bratsandbeer, is there somewhere well worth the trip from Brussels that is truly a short hop away? One of the things that stands out most in my memory of Brussels was our visit to the Atomium. The exhibits at the top seemed like something from a 6th grade science fair. But the city itself was very pretty.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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What time of year? In warmer weather, Bruges is so wonderful for biking along canals and scenic fields - for example, the short trip to Damme. I'm going to be there for three days in April and can't imagine a more lovely place to walk, bike, and drink beer. (Of course, I haven't considered the possibility of incessant rain.) Plus, my B&B host has given me some out of this world restaurant recommendations that I can't wait to try.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 07:38 AM
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I'm not clear on whether you're considering Brussels or Brugge.

If you base yourself in Brugge you can do easy day trips to Ghent and Antwerp and still be only an hour or so from Brussels. Brugge is much prettier than Lisbon. The food is about equal and people in both countries are friendly although since Brugge is much smaller than Lisbon the people are friendlier than they would be in a large city.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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Nothing is very far from Brussels. Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp are within an easy train ride (probably a shorter ride than taking the D train in NYC from end to end).

These pictures might be of interest:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...7622957887247/

But I still would choose Lisbon which also presents a greater change in atmosphere from Paris.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Good point... Lisbon would be a greater change from Paris. We're considering either Brussels or Brugge. No firm plans yet. Abbydog, can you recommend your B&B in Brugge? I was in Antwerp for a day about 20 years ago, but don't recall much about it. I may look into Antwerp or Ghent... maybe that will sway me in one direction or another. We'll be there at the beginning of June. Will accommodations be difficult since it's the start of the summer season? We generally stay in apartments rather than hotels, but since we'll be there for just a few days apartments are likely out of the question. If anyone has hotel recommendations for any of the above, I'd appreciate that. Again, maybe something will catch my eye and confirm that THIS is the place to go! Thanks for the pictures, Michael. I'm heading there to take a look now!
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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If staying in Ghent, you might want to check my trip report. Just click on my name to find it.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Ooo, I found lots of good B&Bs but the one I chose is Cote Canal:
www.bruges-bedandbreakfast.be/

The host has been so helpful already!
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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abby;

Caroline is a most gracious hostess, and Cote Canal is serene and peaceful yet right on the canal.

I expect you will have a wonderful stay. I think you might be taking the room my friends were trying to get there in April .
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 02:49 PM
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Lisbon is beautiful that time of year. I liked Brugge but loved Lisbon!
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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I have not been to either but Travel and Leisure has Brugges listed in the top 10 cities of Europe...Portugal was not. Have fun!
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 04:28 PM
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This type of thread is utterly useless.

Line up the Lisbon fans and line up the Brugge fans. Now everyone count each line.

Ooooh, there's people in both lines!!! How strange is that.

"B-r-u-g-g-e" is how it is spelled.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 04:59 PM
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"This type of thread is utterly useless."... In YOUR opinion, Aramis. Don't speak for all of us. I find it helpful because I appreciate hearing people's personal opinions about a particular place. In that this is a "FORUM," it's meant to promote conversation and opinions. Yes, everyone lines up behind their favorite city, but for a reason... and some of us appreciate hearing those reasons. I don't like the silly polls on the forum, so I just ignore them... I don't condemn the people who post them and enjoy participating in them.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for the B&B and Ghent info, Abby and Michael. We're leaning in that direction for now. We're thinking we want to save Lisbon for a much longer trip.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 08:06 PM
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And that would be your opinion.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Aramis
The spelling of most cities in Belgium depends on if you're spelling it in Flemish, Dutch, French, or German. All are acceptable.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 11:56 AM
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Brugges was good for about a day for me-Lisbon and the rest of Portugal would definitely be my choice but then I enjoy the Mediterrean(sp?) area more.
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