Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bruges/Brugge - 3/17/09

This was by far my favorite stop on our trip. Bruges is a beautifully preserved medieval city. We arrived late at night on the 16th and had a full day to enjoy all the tourist attractions.

Here we are by the canal right outside Hotel Ter Reien. The room was pretty ordinary, but the included buffet breakfast is outstanding. Boiled eggs, muesli, yogurt, bread, fruit, Nutella, chocolate croissants, cold cuts, cheese…

We started off our day walking to Markt Square and climbing Belfort (the belltower). Here's a view of Bruges from the top of Belfort.

A view of Markt Square from the top of Belfort.

Another canal.

We went to the Gruuthuse Museum, Church of Our Lady, and the Memling Museum -- all excellent. After lunch at a place with the strange name of "Venice Corn" and a chocolate stop, we headed to the De Halve Maan Brouwerij (the last brewery in Bruges) for a very entertaining and informative tour.

Tanks on the roof of the brewery.

Enjoying Da Halve Maan's blonde ale.

We took another canal tour in Bruges.

After dark, Bruges is still gorgeous. We had a traditional Flemish dinner in Markt Square. It was not so exciting. I had mussels and vegetables in a buttery sauce and Ed had inedible eel in something like herbs de Provence. But we were much happier after ice cream and wafels. We hung out and took some pictures in Markt Square.

Then we walked back to our hotel to pick up our packs and went to the entrance over the moat that we'd come through the night before.

Here's a map of Bruges made of nylon "lace" (Bruges is known for lace and textiles).

Our tour guide at De Halve Maan recommended a bar where we could get a tasty fruit lambic, but it was closed. So on our way to the train station, we kept our eyes open for a bar. We finally found one a block away. It was strictly a local hotspot and we got a lot of curious looks when we walked in with our backpacks. Ed enjoyed a Westmalle Tripel and I had a Belle-vue Frambozenbier. Yum. We both wanted seconds, but that would have pretty much guaranteed that we'd miss the last train to Brussels.

We were sad to leave. I hope we go back someday.


Robert H said...

Enough. I give up. I'm jealous.

Drinking beer in Belgium is where I draw the line.

I'm officially angry-type jealous now.

Congratulations :(

JB said...

Great pictures!! It brings back memories of my own visits to the area!