Love Letters to Bruges, Jaipur, and Paris

This post is part of a series of love letters written by travel bloggers and expats about their favorite places around the world. Read more here!

Love Letter to Bruges

from Mayuri at To Someplace New

Bruges is a stunning city in Belgium. This city is characterized by canals, Flemish architecture, market square and medieval forts. The small town cultural vibe took my breath away.

I explored Bruges one fine morning, by taking an early train ride from Brussels. There was something magical in the air when I set forth to visit Bruges. I arrived quite early, the central market square (Grokt Markt) was not open yet. I had the whole place to myself and then slowly the vendors started setting up their stalls. Watching the market-place take shape was like living a chapter of medieval Europe – merchants and guilds selling their wares. It was an amazing feeling, one to be treasured forever.

After exploring the market square, I tried some waffles and headed to the Belfry tower and the Burg Castle. Both the Belfry and the Burg castle are listed as UNESCO World heritage sites in Bruges, so definitely include them in your itinerary.

My afternoon was as romantic and serene as ever, with a canal ride. I took an hour canal tour for 8 euros, and in an hour I explored the best sights of Bruges. This is a must-visit activity when you are in Bruges, and I highly recommend it. It is for a good reason that Bruges is called the Venice of the North, you have to have a canal ride to understand why.

A quick day trip was enough to make me fall in love with Bruges.

Sending love from Canada, until I visit again,
xoxo,
Mayuri


Love Letter to Jaipur

from James at Travel Collecting

Dear Jaipur,

I miss you every day since we were last together.  I miss the pink walls of your palace and the buildings in your center.  I miss how they glow in the afternoon light.  I love your Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Wind.  Exploring its tiny rooms, and admiring its façade made my heart beat faster.  I always admired the Jantar Mantar – it’s fascinating to me how these enormous geometric shapes are used as astrological instruments.  Only you have the largest sundial in the world.  It’s those little things that make me love you more.

I miss the crazy chaos of your streets; the colorful markets; the spicy food; the friendly people…  I loved taking a workshop to learn how to do block printing – I will never find another experience like this with anyone else!  I also love the Raj Mandir cinema and its ever changing colors – what better place to see a Bollywood movie?!  No one has a fort more enchanting than the Amber Fort.  Seeing is glow in the morning light, exploring its rooms, basking in its beauty – how can I resist you, Jaipur?  You titillate me with your Galtaji Monkey Temple – beautiful water tanks, a hike to a tiny temple, and cheeky monkeys.  Oh, how your charms lure me in.

You surround yourself with beauty and adventure.  The glorious Samode Palace Hotel is the perfect place to imagine myself a Raja.  The villages around you heave with life and energy. 

Jaipur, we are apart now, but not forever.  You have lured me, trapped me, totally enchanted me.  I count the days until I am back in your arms.

James


Love Letter to Paris

from Sharon from Exploring Our World

Dear Paris,

How can I tell you in so few words what I love most about you? Is it the elegance of your wide boulevards or the coziness of the sidewalk cafes with their red awnings? Your Eiffel Tower that anchors itself by the Seine and soars skyward? You offer everything from outdoor markets bursting with fruits and vegetables to palaces filled with world-class art. And I would gladly take up residence in your Shakespeare and Company store with books overflowing its ramshackle shelves.

I’ll admit it wasn’t love at first sight. Your charms didn’t win me over until the next visit, and the next, as I discovered layer on layer of life in one compact city. History is tangible here. Kings and queens lived in the Louvre and the Conciergerie, and they lost their heads nearby. Napoleon lies beneath the gold dome of the Invalides, where the resistance met in secret during World War II. The Pantheon celebrates French victories and also serves as a final resting place for Marie Curie, Voltaire, and Victor Hugo. And the sunlight shining through the 13th-century stained-glass windows of Saint Chappelle is unforgettable, with its perfect shades of purple.

The morning I marveled at the sun rising on Notre Dame – that’s when I knew I loved you, Paris. This grand church on the river’s banks has seen life swirl around it since the 1200s. And another day dawns. New light glints on the Seine. There’s more to explore. And more to capture my heart.