Day 8. For those who’ve read Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-Morte, you visualize a constantly gloomy, misty, and rainy city, like the European equivalent of Forks, Washington.
Well on the day I arrived, it was super sunny, and everyone I met was mysteriously overjoyed. The next day, BAM. The sky was gray and a light rain made an appearance every three minutes. Honestly, I was so excited about this weather. I woke up around five to walk around the town’s still empty streets while everyone was asleep and that felt to me like the real Bruges. Deadly quiet, but deadly beautiful. Like the whole town was an old, recluse cathedral.
As soon as the museum opened, I climbed up Belfry Tower to admire the view from above, and to listen to the bells VIP. Let’s mention that I waited for fifteen minutes in front of the wrong building, first. (Fail #1.)
Then I entered Holy Blood’s Cathedral, where I could admire the golden structure containing Jesus’s blood. I’ll be honest, I had no clue this was about Jesus’s blood until I got there. Judge me.
In the afternoon I did a boat tour through the canals, because I just couldn’t resist the idea. Those three great things for a total of 16€! Just about what it cost me to rent a locker in Brussels.
Then I started to panic because my throat was decaying more than ever.
- On the 1st day I lost my voice, I ignored it, blaming the hangover.
- On the 2nd day, everything was closed because it was a holiday.
- On the 3rd, it was Sunday—everything closed again.
- On the 4th (that Day 8), I couldn’t find a freaking drugstore.
I had searched on Google and I knew I was on the right road but there were no drugstores in sight. It’s only the third time I scanned the street that I saw it: Apotheek.
So if you’re looking for medicine in Bruges (and many other countries in Europe, from what I later learned), look for an old, hidden apothecary, and know that in there, you can’t simply buy pills from a box on a shelf. You have to tell the clerk your symptoms and he’ll go in the back of the shop and come back with what you need. I paid 7€ for a spray I had to cast straight into my throat every 5 minutes. And, hey, it worked! Way more than any tablets I would’ve bought back home. The voice came back in the same evening, but the coughing persisted until I tried some cough drops in the Netherlands, made from aqueous extract of Iceland moss. (I suspect those were made by fairies.)
Fail count: 4