Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bruges - Day 2

Fleurise and I were excited for our full day in Bruges. It looked different in the daylight. The town looked so perfectly medieval that for a while it felt larger than life, like we were in a movie set or at Disneyland. I settled into the town a bit more after I read that Bruges today is a pretty accurate depiction of how it actually looked in the old days. The city makes its living on tourism, so it makes sense that money is poured into restorations. We had a view of some of the characteristic gabled rooftops from our window.

We made our way to the famous Bell Tower. On the way, we saw perfect storefronts with beautiful displays of toys and lace and delectable chocolates, candies, and cookies. We paid 8 euros to the city of Bruges so that we could punish ourselves by climbing 366 steps up the Bell Tower. The view was just okay; the best part about the visit was the sign at the entrance.

Frites are specifically forbidden. We walked to Burg Square and marveled over the opulent City Hall. We visited the Basilica of the Holy Blood where it is said they keep a vial of Christ's blood. We went to, of all places, the basement of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where the old ruins of a church had been converted into conference space. We contemplated "Madonna and Child" by Michelangelo in the Church of Our Lady, wandered around the Begijnhof, and sat down at Minnewater.

We had to try out Belgium chocolate, so we visited The Chocolate Line, which sold chocolates by the "mad scientist of chocolate," Dominique Person. He had some crazy stuff, like the Havana Cigar chocolate, which has rum, cognac, and Cuban tobacco leaves. We tried it; it had a spicy bitterness, but besides that, we weren't sure what to make of it.

Along our walk we happened on an old man playing a mechanical organ with a hand crank.

We enjoyed being outside so we decided to skip the museums and rent bikes. The ride was surreal. We rode by a canal to the next town over, Damme.

We went along fields, horses, sheep, windmills, and a majestic arch of trees like those at the Mall in Central Park or at Versailles. I didn't think that a bike ride could ever be this calming.

We walked through Damme and took what looked like a "wandering path" back to the canal.

We came back to town hungry. We sat down in one of those forgettable restaurants in Markt Square, and we had our moules frites, Belgian wafel, our people watching, and our view of the Bell Tower.


micky said...

Yeah!! The city makes its living on tourism.. Thats why restaurants and cafe are most popular occupation here..

Cafe Bruges

MyrtleHernandez said...

i like your blogs i like your picture..and all the food that you post...
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