Blogs from Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium, Europe

Advertisement

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges September 7th 2019

I toured the city of Bruges today and it was just as I pictured it: cute, scenic, and full of tourists. Bruges has cobblestone streets and tall towers, pretty canals and old churches. It has great old religious art and the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy in his lifetime. I think this statue of the Madonna and Child was featured in the movie The Monuments Men. It was a satisfying experience to finally visit this town that I have heard and read about for years. I was prepared for it to be crowded, so the number of tourists didn’t bother me (as it has in some of the places I have been on this trip). I guess it’s all about expectations. I don’t usually travel in the summertime because of the crowds, but this ... read more
48DC8598-6754-41DB-B895-D7D35FDCA150.
0E29DACE-4BED-4CF5-9037-B19B1A445347.
99D1DC9D-A715-4467-BDB0-E71D0829B550.

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges August 13th 2019

Set off from Zeebrugge-Strand station at 9am and arrived in Brugge 20 minutes later. The weather forecast was not brilliant but we were blessed with more sun than rain. What a beautiful city with new vistas round every corner. We enjoyed a late breakfast in a beautiful old cafe before embarking on a lengthy tour by foot. ... read more
20789CD7-FB9A-486B-9370-76FD950CC72C.
5A61A310-CDEB-4A2E-B78B-45666A749889.
F7BF63D1-9679-426F-AA1E-16F120251D49.

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges August 8th 2019

We are both excited to be leaving Calais - M navigates us into Belgium and on up to Bruges - 116 km Bruges is a canal based city - the Venice of the North - a medieval town virtually untouched - surrounded by gingerbread houses, cobbled alleys (creating a maze of one way streets) giant white swans and many varieties of ducks. Bruges was occupied in both WW I and WW II but neither the Allied nor German armies had the heart to raze it. In WW II German commander Imma Hopman even refused to carry out direct orders from his superiors to do just that. Bruges was liberated in WW II by Canadian troops on September 12, 1944. Bruges’ population is just over 117,000 - only 19,500 live in the small canal city centre. Over ... read more
Canal shot
canal shot
And another

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges August 5th 2019

Danielle and I wake up early on the 30th. Today is a travel day - on to Jumièges - still in France - near Rouen. We are more or less following / stopping at key cities / points of interest related to the Maple Leaf Route (thanks Nancy for lending me the trilogy). I am not exactly sure of Doug’s route taken but I am assuming he more or less followed the Maple Leaf Up and Down routes. Maple Leaf Up postings were staked along the fractured highways that pointed the way to the ever-shifting Canadian front lines in the ground battles for Northwest Europe. These routes were crucial logistic arteries extending from the Normandy beaches deep into Belgium, the Netherlands and eventually Germany itself. Scores of supply trucks (one/ or more of which Doug would ... read more
Doug’s standing orders
WW2 motorcycle
Doug in a ?

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges July 15th 2018

On 21 June we got up and had breakfast very early in the morning, and left for the station. Mark had purchased the tickets for InterCity Rail for us to travel at the specific time. Amsterdam Centraal station is one of the major stations in Europe. Eurostar is scheduled to arrive at Amsterdam Centraal Station in 2019 and we could see the construction of the new terminal from the platform where we were waiting for the train for Brussels. The InterCity train, ‘Thalys’ looked very impressive and it offered us a comfortable ride between Amsterdam and Bruxelles-Midi. Upon arrival at Bruxelles-Midi, we realized that the language had been changed. Mark asked the station staff which platform he should go to catch the train for Bruges; the station staff replied in French. The train for Bruges departed ... read more
my lunch
Vrouwekerk
view from cruise

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges April 3rd 2018

Sadly, today marks our last day in Bruges. Despite the frequent showers and chilly temperatures during our 10-day-stay, both of us enjoyed the ambience, people, sights, sounds and the food in this charming city of gabled houses, canals and cobblestone streets. It's easy to understand why this city has become such a popular destination for tourists, and we would love to return in warmer weather, when the gardens and foliage are in full bloom. Of course, our fabulous rental apartment contributed to the pleasant stay. It was immaculate, well-equipped, and centrally located. A grocery store across the street was a big plus, and the owner's waffle and gelato shop downstairs had to be the icing on the cake! Our original plan was to spend the day packing for our move to Tours, in the Loire Valley ... read more
Last call in Bruges!
La Taverne Brugeoise
Chicken and frites

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges April 2nd 2018

Today turned out to be a Belgian national holiday, with many small shops and restaurants choosing to close their doors. The crowds in the street were sparse during the morning hours, but as we would discover later in the afternoon, much of Bruges remained open for business as usual. Once again, however, a light drizzle made for some dreary conditions until around 2:30 PM, when the temperature actually rose to the mid-50s--a veritable heat wave! After eating Dee's fabulous lunch of tuna salad, avocado and cucumbers, we decided to take advantage of the warmer weather by walking to Queen Astrid Park (Koningin Astridpark). This park, which was once a monastery garden, is an oasis of peace and greenery within walking distance of the center of Bruges. It offers a gazebo, and a picturesque pond with a ... read more
A "swing" inside a church?
One of the "Stations of the Cross"
"Homeless Jesus"

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges April 1st 2018

Our days in Bruges are now dwindling, since we move on to the Loire Valley region of France in just a few days' time. The overcast skies, chilly temperatures, and frequent showers have so far dissuaded us from taking a canal cruise, an activity that is almost mandatory when visiting the city that has been dubbed the "Venice of the North". The forecast for this Easter Sunday did not look very promising, but we held out hope for a break in the gloomy weather, and by mid-afternoon a few glorious rays of sunshine greeted us while waiting in line for the cruise boat. Although the sun's appearance turned out to be short-lived, at least the skies were dry during our 1/2-hour cruise. After spending the morning puttering around the apartment, we decided to have lunch at ... read more
Escargot at Bistro de Pompe
"The Great Masturbator"
Dali print

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges March 30th 2018

Once again, overcast and chilly temperatures discouraged us from taking our canal cruise this morning. So we decided to have a light lunch in the apartment, and then visit a former hospital which is now home to several masterpieces by Hans Memling, one of the preeminent artists of the Flemish Primitive period. As we walked toward the hospital and museum, there appeared to be a few restaurants and small shops closed for the Easter holidays, but there were plenty of locals and tourists scurrying around the streets. Of course, the many purveyors of chocolate were doing a booming business! We stopped briefly at The Chocolate Line, one of the many designer chocolatiers in Bruges, where customers can observe part of the (mostly automated) production process. There was quite a queue in the check-out line, as many ... read more
Waiting to be admitted?
The Shrine of St. Ursula
The St. John Altarpiece

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges March 29th 2018

It was not long after our arrival in Bruges that we became aware of the horse-drawn carriages transporting gawking tourists through the historic sections of the city. The rhythmic "clip-clop" of the horses hooves striking the cobblestone streets is a constant, and unmistakeable, background noise to which we soon became accustomed. So this morning, despite our initial reluctance to spend 50 euros ($65) for a "buggy" ride, we decided to give it a try. The carriage rides start and end at the Markt Square, after a 30-minute circuit that winds its way south from the square, past many of the historic landmarks, before reaching the Begijnhof. Here passengers (and the poor horse) get a short break before making the return journey to the Markt. The weather this morning was mostly sunny, although a bit chilly (mid-40s)--hardly ... read more
Giddy-up!
Cassoulet at Malesherbes
Tarte tatin for dessert




Tot: 2.458s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 9; qc: 74; dbt: 0.0633s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb