A Mystical Forest – The Bluebells of the Hallerbos

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I had no idea that something like Mystical forest exists in Belgium. The first time I heard about it was from my husband when his office had planned a trip to this forest in the 2nd week of April with employees and their families. We decided not to go due to bad weather. At that time, all I knew about this place was its called ‘Blue forest’ because blue flowers bloom in this forest during spring. I didn’t put much attention to it and thought it wouldn’t be all that great.

A couple of days later, my brother suggested me to go there and sent me a link which had pictures of this forest and the pictures looked like THIS Click here.

Damn! How could I ignore something that looks as splendid as this?  I immediately searched for the dates to visit this mystical forest. I was relieved to know that I still have time to visit while the flowers are still in full bloom.

About Hallerbos: A forest in Belgium (South of Brussels) known for its bluebell carpet, which covers the forest each spring. Every year it attracts visitors from all over the world. The forest transforms from a sea of green into a sea of blue and makes a mesmerizing sight. To know more about its history Click here

I visited this place last weekend and was lucky to see bluebells still in bloom. It wasn’t as dense as I saw in pictures or it must have been in the previous weeks. I really wish I had gone here in mid-April. Another side of going late is, the forest gets filled with more beech leaves which make the whole forest even more beautiful. But, as the beech leaves grow more, the sunlight is not able to reach bluebells and they start withering. So ensure it’s not too late for you.

Best time to visit Hallerbos: The ideal time to visit is April, but every year the flowering season varies with the weather. You can monitor the bluebells status on the Hallerbos website Click here. Every week they update their website with the progress of the bluebell and accordingly you can make your plans.

I think this forest should be visited twice. Once when bluebells start blooming and the trees are still dry. At first sight, it looks like the forest has been covered with blue carpet. The second visit should be when the trees are filled with beech leaves. The combination of deep purple blue and transparent fresh green looks breathtaking. Both the views have their own beauty.

You can walk, hike, cycle, or ride a horse to explore the beauty of The Blue Forest. It was a blissful experience for me to see horses walking gracefully on their designated trails in between those slender trees. I, unfortunately, ran out of my phone’s battery and still regret not charging it before entering the forest. This picture is still in my mind and missing from my postcards collection. *sad*

How to get there: 1) Public transport – There is Bus service from Halle station to Hallerbos. Access to the forest by public transport is limited on weekends. 2) Blue Bike – Pick your bike from Halle station and cycle to the forest. The distance is less than 5kms. 3) Personal vehicle – Use Google Maps and Boom, you are there! 😛

Imp Tip: When you park your vehicle, DO CHECK the parking number before you enter the forest and collect your map from the entrance. We were too happy that we got the parking and forgot to check the parking number and didn’t see the need for a map. Hallerbos has 10 parking around it and if you have not noted the parking number and to worsen it, not even collected your map, take my words, you will be lost and nobody would be able to help you out especially if you can’t speak French. We had lost our way in the forest. We took a U-turn on realizing we have lost our way and walked 4kms extra at the time when we were dead tired of walking (I know we are in the world of smartphones and your vehicle can easily be tracked through it but what would you do if your phone gets switched off? 😉 so take the tip 😀

I could not click many pictures, but I hope I have compensated that by providing more information. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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In the below picture, they have put red signs because some visitors do not stay on the official trails and create their own paths which are causing damage. So much beauty has been destroyed forever.

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Take out time to visit the centuries-old forest because words are not enough to explain how magical it looks!

If you have a forest like this in your country then share it with us in the comments below. Au revoir!

Oh Brugge! You take my heart away!

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Oh Brugge! You beauty!
You took my heart the moment I saw you! I heard people calling you ‘fairytale land’ and ‘Venice of the North’. My crush on you started with a Bollywood movie and since then I could not wait to see you. Finally I am here, watching you with my eyes wide open. I am a traveler and bound to fall in love with the new places I see and I intend to do that. But you, my darling, will always be my first travel love in Europe. You are beautiful to the core giving eternal bliss to the soul as mine.
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Welcome to the historic world heritage site, Brugge! It is the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium and the most picturesque European city. This city will capture your heart with its beautiful gingerbread house style buildings standing between the canals with swans and ducks playing in water.
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We drove to Brugge from Brussels. It’s a one and half hour drive for us as we went off road to see the countryside. I think it would have taken lesser time if we had picked the highway. 
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Brugge is a small picturesque town, totally walk-able. You can also rent a bike if you are in no mood to walk. Another option is horse carriages. Though I prefer walking because it lets you go slow, take your pauses and gives you time to see the beauty of its streets present in even the smallest corners.
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Brugge is full of tourist sites like City hall, Belfry, museums, churches (‘Basilica of the Holy Blood’ is a church in which the relic of the Holy Blood is preserved. It is a must go). The city is filled with historical and medieval buildings and cobblestone streets. Take out at-least a day from your itinerary to see all of it. If you are running out of time, you should take the cruises here to see the best of Brugge. I did not take it because I wanted to savor the moment and enjoy the eternal bliss and peace this city has to offer. I wanted to let it sink that I am ACTUALLY in Brugge. Though there are repercussions of everything. I missed out on some beautiful corners by the canal-side, but I’ll do that on my next visit (which would definitely happen very soon and you would get to see some more of this place:).

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A few things you cannot miss when in Brugge are chocolates, a waffle, moules frites, and of course belgian beer! It’s a sin to leave Belgium without trying these 4 things and of-course Belgian laces. Buy some as a souvenir
Our day started with waffles at Lizzie’s Waffles. This place seems to be the best in town. I did not know this until I tried it. Their waffle came piping hot to my plate. Absolutely fresh and delicious! It was perfectly sweet, huge in size and one waffle was more than enough for two people. After our yummy breakfast we moved to explore the city. The foodie in me could not wait for longer and after walking around a bit we took a break for lunch. We had belgian moules and frites with the obvious choice, belgian beer. I do not remember the name of the place sadly but this restaurant street is right next to canal. You can sit there, enjoy canal view and your food. On a weekend, it is quite difficult to get a table there, though we were lucky to find one for ourselves. For all the vegetarians and Indian food lovers, there is a separate restaurant which serves all your Indian cuisines. I haven’t tried that, but you can, if you want to stick to your cuisine.
I ended my day with some more of Belgian Beer at ‘The Beer Wall’. This place is no less than a heaven for all the beer lovers out there as they have wide range of belgian beers. I tried coconut beer and totally loved it. This terrace bar is wonderfully located on the canalside in the centre of Brugge. Sadly, they shut down by 7pm. Brugge is not a wild party city. There is not much for party lovers but you would love it if you just want to relax and looking for some peaceful time for yourself.
I found this city to be very charming. It is a little expensive but totally worth it. 
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Brugge, I had no plans to visit you this soon. But you were always there in my travel bucket list. I am glad it happened and that it happened this soon. I can’t get over you now.
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See you soon!

Your loo break is my photo moment! 

Not sure how great is this picture but this burger place in Ghent is the best in town.

This was a random click when the husband was on loo break 😛 and I was just looking around, soaking in the environment, and didn’t know what to click because everything here was amazing. But sadly it was too dark for me to click anything.

I was getting really bad craving for burgers for quite some time and that is when I discovered this place on TripAdvisor. I ordered the only veg burger available on the menu (if veg is available how can i say No to it right) They served it with perfect juicy onion rings and spicy potato wedges (Well! By spicy I mean spicy as per Belgian’s taste;)

Unfortunately, by the time we started they ran out of forks and knives. I am sure I looked like a messy toddler while eating it but it was totally worth it. A must go when you are in Ghent.

I am definitely going there again and gonna click more of this awesome burger place! See you soon Uncle babe’s! Mwahz!

I’ll make her an offer she can’t refuse – The Godfather

Recently I met a friend’s 4 year old daughter. When she got to know that I have a sweet tooth, she said “Oh! You are also a sweet queen just like me”. And since then I have started calling myself ‘the sweet queen’. After some grocery shopping, I went to a cafe to grab a cup of coffee..I saw some pies there and told myself ‘dont even look at that, your body can’t afford this’…. With this thought I asked the guy just for a black coffee and he came back to me with an offer saying I can have any of the pies + coffee just for 6 Euros.. Not sure if he read my mind..

Oh! He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.😜😜 Ended up gaining some extra calories today. But it was totally worth it. I still can’t forget how yum was that Tiramisu *drooling*

I’ll make her an offer she can’t refuse – The Godfather

Recently I met a friend’s 4 year old daughter. When she got to know that I have a sweet tooth, she said “Oh! You are also a sweet queen just like me”. And since then I have started calling myself ‘the sweet queen’. After some grocery shopping, I went to a cafe to grab a cup of coffee..I saw some pies there and told myself ‘dont even look at that, your body can’t afford this’…. With this thought I asked the guy just for a black coffee and he came back to me with an offer saying I can have any of the pies + coffee just for 6 Euros.. Not sure if he read my mind..

Oh! He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.😜😜 Ended up gaining some extra calories today. But it was totally worth it. I still can’t forget how yum was that Tiramisu *drooling*

Spring layering

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Can’t get over these cherry blossoms which are right next to my house. I adore them every time I see them so decided to get a picture clicked under them. I can have them with me forever unlike the trees. I wish they stayed the same throughout the year.

Now the spring is here, its time to get into lighter clothes. Boots are my all time favorite. They go with almost everything. Be it your dresses, jeans, dungarees, long skirts, they look cool with everything. You just need to pair them well with your attire. I decided to pair up my dungaree with a yellow pullover as it is spring and its time to bring out all your colors.

Outfit details:

Dungaree – Pull & Bear

Pullover – Marc O’polo

Boots – Bershka

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Have a great week guys! 🙂

Cook & Book – Quite literally

Hey guys! What’s up? How was your weekend?

Killing Monday blues 😉

Well you can feel better as you all have something productive to do. I was just lazying around at home and got reminded that, oh! I have a post to publish.

I want to tell you guys about this new place I explored this weekend called ‘Cook & Book’.

I had gone out for some weekend shopping and got tired by the day end. So decided to sit for a cup of coffee. My husband is my travel guide here in Brussels or i prefer calling it Europe (because that’s gonna happen soon :D). He had told me about this place before and wanted to take me there so that i can come on weekdays and pass my time. Well! He was right! After visiting this place, I am definitely gonna go back for some reading.

As the name reveals a part of what this spot is all about – a bookstore where you can read and simultaneously enjoy your meal. This place is HUGE and has different rooms. Every room has a different set up and atmosphere and it feels like you have come to a totally new place.

They have n number of sections for books. You name it and they have it there. While you walk through the store you will see the staff cooking (I was wondering what all amazing things they have in the menu), you will see some cooking sections where you can pick cooking books according to your taste. They have a kids section also. I need to go there again and explore it. Would love to spend some time there 🙂

We took our table in the last section of the store. Though I had gone there to grab a quick cup of coffee, but when the husband asked if i want some beer i couldn’t say no to that. Who says No to Beer right? 😀

I was quite literally amazed by the fact that they serve beer there. Wasn’t expecting that at all. The Beer I had was something I have never tried before. It was light like many other beers (Extra White with only 4% alcohol) but the surprising element was, it was froth-less. It had a a very subtle bitter taste to it. I know that sounds weird but that’s how it tasted. A perfect combo with reading! We also tried pancakes which weren’t all that great but that didn’t kill the fun of exploring this new concept of books, food, and drinks.

Below are some pictures to give you an idea of how amazing this place looks. Well guys! That’s just one section I am talking about. They have a lot more and I am gonna post more pictures of the same when I visit them next.

This time I was busy with the husband so couldn’t explore more. He has left that on me for weekdays.

So i’ll post some more pictures very soon. Keep coming back! Have a great week! 🙂

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