I think I’m a little weird when it comes to birthdays. Usually, I try not to care about my birthday and I rarely plan anything, sometimes even trying to pretty much ignore the date. In the past, I would rather take an extra shift at my part time job in a clothing store than throw a huge birthday party. Somehow, birthday parties never really worked out the way I planned them and so I stopped doing something special, because I think I’m just too afraid to be disappointed.
Instead of throwing a party, lately I developed a habit of “not being there “on my birthday. I just spent my special day with a few very good friends somewhere nice — far off phones, letterboxes, and facebook. I celebrated my 24th birthday at a festival headbanging with my little sister when The Subways played Rock’N’Roll Queen. I turned 25 in Munich visiting a good friend and spent the day exploring the cute city of Augsburg, Bavaria, with another great friend: Home cooked dinners and catching up with true friends means just so much more to me than a big birthday party!
It might not be for everyone, but I loved not being there on my birthdays — no phone calls, no checking my facebook. Just good friends, great places and creating beautiful and truly meaningful birthday memories.
This year, I tried something entirely new: Traveling abroad for my 26th birthday! (Strange, that it took me this long to think of this. In my defense though: This was the very first I year I didn’t have to attend school in July). A getaway to a new country and a new city with my boyfriend Steffen sounded like my perfect birthday present. And the gorgeous city of Bruges in Belgium was the ideal choice for my birthday trip — because, of course I would choose a city which is famous for its quaint medieval atmosphere, right?
So how did I spend my birthday in Bruges? Easy: Eating fries, drinking beer, swooning over immensely cute architecture. Because apparently, that’s exactly what Bruges was made for. Also, that’s what birthdays were made for.
Here are a few of my favorite birthday moments in Bruges:
Starting the day with a slow stroll along the old city borders of medieval Bruges — to find out that Belgium has windmills too! (Who knew?)
Photographing an abundance of picturesque little streets full of flowers, bikes and brick houses with those typical Belgian pediments — everything I imagined Belgium to look like!
A very necessary birthday sweets break by the canal with a delicous raspberry cupcake!
A cheesy, touristy boat ride on the canals — it’s such a Bruges cliché, but we just had to do it!
Sipping a cappuccino in the afternoon sun on one of the beautiful old squares in the city center
Taking stupid self-timer-style photos of us on one of Bruges’ iconic bridges
Dining in a famous beer brasserie — with a local brew and Belgium’s signature dish: Mussels and fries. So incredibly delicious!
And a post-storm nighttime stroll along the canals to see Bruges at its best: Perfectly lit, wet glimmering cobblestones, gorgeous reflections on the dark canal water!
All in all: A perfect birthday for an almost art historian with a (newly discovered) serious love for Belgian fries. Bruges really made me a very happy birthday girl!
Have you ever celebrated your birthday abroad?