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Published: October 11th 2010
Brugge chocs - opened
from Brown Sugar (wonder if they are paying royalties to Mick & Keef?)
(sorry if you got 2 msgs re previous post - Blog site said unpublished so did again)
this is written the day after and its noon+ in Bruxelle as I was just so tired after yesterday (that beauty sleep I referred to - a catchup day) - mostly setting an alarm so I would get up in time to pack and get some b'fast from the bakery on the corner (one o them nice layered apple slice tarts) and get out of the hotel before seeing some sights/whatever before the train to Bruxelle ard 3pm.
When I bought the one day jazz ticket (for Thurs.) it included one free visit to a Brugge museum - most of them are 8E - the hotel gave me a card for group price of 6E - by most accounts (altho there are a lot of them) most of them aren't that great. The woman where I bought the ticket said the Hospital musee was the one to see if only one. This is on the site of the old Sint Jaan (St John) Hospital - cos it was run by nuns a certain amount of historic religious iconography, not to mention rather gruesome
Brugge jazz - those Italian cats
called Il Vino all'Opera (prev. nite)
looking surgeon's tools from days gone by. There was a folding triptych altar piece/retable which I think left the one in Colmar for dead - other than being very old and painted on wood the Colmar one left me somewhat underwhelmed - YMMV. I discussed this with an American guy in front of a Bosch painting - Judgement Day or something. Called Jacob Bosch here - I assume Hieronymus must be another form - unless he had a warped brother who did the same kind of devilish imagination painting! It was only there because the Groninge Musee or whatever is closed at mo and being prepared for major exhibition starting in 2 weeks or so. The guy lived half the year in the S of France and rest in Chicago and did painting from life and seemed fairly well informed on art history generally. He told me about Bosch being an animist - why there are so many nude people in his paintings - mostly with gruesome things being done to them as well! He was an admirer of Robert Hughes when he knew I was from Australia. We had an interesting chat for 15mins or so before his painting
viewing schedule had to continue - as did my tourist schedule.
Right next to the Museum and just off Chocolate Street was a boat place for a 30min cruise on the canal which I of course had to do. They tend to wait until the boats are full - like 16-20 people or so - although one or two other boats I saw were only half full. Anyway it was an interesting way to look at the canal side houses etc with some minor history thrown in. I then headed over to the Belfort tall thing on the Markt place and decided that I was not gunna pay to go up - it was only half way anyway as the panorama top bit was closed and the consolation was a ticket to another museum - no time for that either. The Markt was taken up with some artificial contoured grass mounds for some reason - no, it was not a Jeff Koons concept thing! Got a squashed panini to eat and saw the outside of the Frites (chips) Museum (only in Belgium!).
Then a dash to the hotel to collect bags and walk/dash to station - fortunately it
a real raspberry tart
not cheap but real berries and cream
is under 10 mins and train was 5 mins later than I thought. An hour to Bruxelle then to fight the getting to be 4.15pm rush hour metro traffic to my hotel. I got a 3 day ticket for 9.50E - better than a 10 trip for 11.20E. Cursed the local Metro for not having anywhere the good signs and maps of Paris. Found my hotel the Pantone - yes it is modelled on Pantone colour charts - I chose purple over yellow or green. Actually it is all white with only mild purple accents - unlike the midnight blue painted room in Strasbourg at the eTc Hotel.
Semi-rested in my room for 2 hrs (told you I was pooped) then went out to find dinner. An Italian place I had come past on way looked good and it was just down the street and it had begun to rain (hotel said it was very good). It was called Sale Pepe Rosmarino. The mambo Italiano at top is cos the kitchen staff came out with it a few times, singing. I had to be out by 9pm as they were fully booked and some people after me missed out.
It was fairly small and tables fairly jammed. This was the first time I had eaten a "foreign" cuisine (as in not from the country I was in, having easily resisted Chinese and Indian in France etc). There was only a blackboard menu - and they had 5 platters for anti pasto near by table. All good signs. The menu was only in Italian but hey I speak cucina Italiana - so ordered linguine e sepie e carciofi - thats with calamari (I was actually expecting the sepie - the black ink, but none) and artichokes. All in a light cream sauce and it was very good. Secondi was vitello ai funghi - veal with mushrooms - they also gave me some broccoli which was nice. This had a mixture of mushrooms with it and the veal was very good - altho I feared the perhaps later salt factor. 2 glasses of no-name Montepulciano - bene! All for 46.40E. And definitely no espresso! The rain continued so walked up to where the hotel had said there were quite a few other restaurants - but none I would have gone to - Vietnamese etc, so very happy with my choice.
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