Blogs from Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium, Europe - page 9

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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges August 25th 2009

Due to popular demand, I am writing my first blog before I have actually started my travels. So the trip to Bruges was amazing, I thought I would indulge myself in luxury accommodation, fine beer, fine chocolate and the real french frie before I set off for 7 months of complete budget living. The trip to Bruges was ruined by the ever so handy UK police who decided to close the road into the port and therefore make us miss the ferry. I get the feeling that the drive into Bruges itself would have been even more painful if it wasn't for the sat nav, what a life saver. Driving round tiny one-way streets trying not to run the locals was hard enough. But Bruges itself was gorgeous. The horse and carriage ride and the boat ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges August 10th 2009

While I'm on a roll, I might as well get up to date. From Paris we got the train to Bruges, which is a beautiful place (thanks Fi for that tip). We spent a day and a half there doing all things Belgian. Or at least drinking beer and eating waffles. Around this consumption of Belgian finery we did find time to see the sights. We did a canal tour, walked around town, wandered through the two main squares Markt and Burg, headed to one of the town's churches to see Michelangelo's statue 'Madonna and Child' (clearly not the real Madonna though as the child wasn't from Malawi), and saw the windmills on the outskirts of town. Very pretty place, I highly recommend it! After Bruges we had a bit of a run-in with the European ... read more
Markt, main square
Houses by the canal
More houses by the canal

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges July 24th 2009

Getting to Bruges this morning was a challenge. I packed my bags (while everyone in my dorm room was still sleeping) and headed over to the Gare du Nord train station, about a fifteen minute walk. (Probably would have been less if I wasn't wearing 25kg of luggage, but anyway...) Bought a ticket for the train and went to the track to wait for it. I had about a half-hour wait. The train didn't arrive. It was supposedly running 13 minutes late, but it was certainly more than that. The next train going to Bruges arrived before that one did, so I jumped on. Funnily enough, I met one of my dorm roommates, Jess, on the track, so we sat together on the train. It was more like a commuter train (think GO train) as it ... read more

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges July 13th 2009

Today we were up at the crack of dawn to the sound of the falling rain, not great when you have a day packed full of sights to go and see. Anyway we had our breakfast, definitely nothing to write about and got on the walking shoes to go and see the city centre. We spent an hour or so having a red bull to wake up and some internet browsing and then got going. We stopped at the town hall and took some pics with the fountain outside; it had really pretty modern art statues. We then made our way to the horse fountain and geese park, which was so pretty with the canal in the back ground and the boats going past and the horse drawn carriages it truly is magical. We took some ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges July 11th 2009

Today started off worst than any of the days we have had so far. Gail woke up with bites from head to toe, no idea what they were from when we woke up but as the day moved on we found out something we didn’t want to know. After an hour of debating what to do with the hotel manager we ended up at the pharmacy down the road and thank goodness after much French-English deciphering got the stuff that we needed. Some anti histamines and some cream to stop the itching. We then returned to the hotel with our sample bug, which was rather huge and ugly looking and the hotel manager had gone upstairs and had our bed removed to be replaced, to little-to late for us but any way once the bed was ... read more
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Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges June 25th 2009

Hi Everyone! Yesterday I rented a bicycle and rode down from Bruges to the coast. I had a bottle of Diet Coke, my mp3 player was playing Twilight the audio book and it was a beautiful sunny day. A moment of pure bliss. Along the way I rode through a small town called Damme. It was quite adorable and had 3 used bookstores, though the only English books I found were the Harry Potter books. I hung out on the beach and watched people fly kites and generally frolic in the ocean. The bike ride was about 4 hours round trip. Unfortunately I forgot my sunblock so now I am a crispy critter. You would think that someone going to the beach would remember their sunblock, wouldn't you? They conveniently pave the bicycle paths here, even ... read more
Inside the Basillica of the Holy Blood
Beach!
Canal at Damme

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges June 23rd 2009

Hi Everyone, Today was another fun filled day in fantasy land...I mean Bruges! This city is almost like being in Disneyland. It seems like it was created and maintained solely for the sake of the visitors. And everyone here seems to be a visitor. The streets are filled with people snapping pictures and buying postcards. Strangely enough I don't hear much English. I guess Bruges is one of those tourist places that attract, not just foreigners but people from within its own borders. This morning I walked up 366 steps to the top of the Belfry tower on the Markt square. This belfry has 47 bells and still employs a full time carillon, who does bell concerts every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I have heard that 'Don't Worry Be Happy' is a favorite. The view from ... read more
Belfry
Strange fountain sculpture
Belfry from the bottom

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges June 22nd 2009

I arrived in Bruges around 11am. I took the 10am train from Brussels. They didn't check my ticket at all. I just walked on to the train and then off again in Bruges and I could have been completly without a ticket. I am told that is an honor system, there are occasional spot checks and huge fines if you are caught cheating. The funny thing is that my ticket is valid between certain dates, so I could concievable use it again and again as long as no one takes it away from me. I guess it is a moot point as I have a specific Itnierary to stick to. Bruges is a beautiful, fairy tale town. You can literally walk across it in 20 minutes. I don't think you could even walk across Utica in ... read more
Beautiful Canal
Chocolate!
Town hall

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges June 21st 2009

Wow, Bruges is such a cool city! I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary when you're in Europe. I slept so good last night. It wasn't the best weather today but the sun came out after all. I started out on a self-guided walk that I had in my tour book. I'm glad I did because I got to see lots of Bruges. I went in this church that supposedly has a vial of Christ's dried blood. The museum was closed so I couldn't see it. I went on a 30 minute canal ride which was cool except for the tour guide was in Dutch so I could only understand about 6 words. I saw about 10 chocolate shops and bought so much chocolate. I hope some of it makes it home!... read more
Street view
One of the many lace shops
Main Square

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges June 20th 2009

If I never ride a bus/train/plane again in my life I might be okay with that. My hostel was so loud last night and I was paranoid of sleeping past my 4am alarm that I got about 2 hours of sleep. I caught a bus to the airport, plane to brussels, hour and a half bus to train station, hour train to Bruges, bus to city center. I had originally planned to stay in Brussels but on the train ride I changed my mind. So I hopped on the train to Bruges! When I was riding the bus to the city center, I could not believe the amount of people on the streets. It looked like the state fair. Turns out, there is a triathlon going on. It must be huge because there were so many ... read more




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