Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In Brugges...


We had an incredible time exploring the city of Brugges, near the North Sea in Belgium. Jean, the chauffeur, dropped us off at Brussels-Central, the main train station, and we purchased our tickets. After an hour on the train, we arrived at our destination and we spent many hours wandering up and down the charming cobblestone streets amongst all of the many canals.

Every direction you turn in Brugges, you are met with stunning architecture and a tonne of history. The city was fully developed in the 14th century, and it is one of the most well-preserved locations in the country. Apparently, Brugges is at the top of most tourist's lists of places to go and see, and by mid-afternoon the streets were packed with tourists. Between the people wading up and down the sidewalks, the horse drawn carriages plodding along the cobblestone streets, the bicycles and tour buses whizzing along after them, and the boats cruising back and forth through the canals, Brugges was a whirlwind of activity and a must see for anyone planning a trip to Belgium.

The train ride back to Brussels was uneventful, and we made our way onto the metro (subway) for the first time. Very well designed mode of public transportation here in Brussels! Following the ride to the end of the metro line, we had a bit more of a walk before we arrived back at the house. What should have been a twenty minute walk turned into an hour and twenty minutes due to a mix up with the directions. We got to see some of the sights around Brussels that we weren't expecting to visit, and we still made it home just in time for dinner :-)

Thanks for reading and for all of your comments on past posts,
Andy
BTW, the following video highlights some of the many sights that we took in throughout our day in Brugges... enjoy :-)

IN BRUGGES...




The bicycle compound just outside the train station in Brugges. This is a very popular form of transportation across Belgium (and many other European countries)





On the walk towards the Grand Markt (the city's central square)




A view from atop the Belfry, the clock tower facing the Grand Markt




A typical view from anywhere in the city... breathtaking :-)




Looking the other direction from atop the Belfry. We had to climb over 300 very cramped steps to reach the top...





The site of a fresh fish market which, unfortunately, wasn't taking place the day that we were in Brugges





'Madonna & Child', believed to be Michelangelo's only existing statue outside of Italy, is featured in a 500 year old cathedral in Brugges




Another view of the canals - apparently, the basements (yes, there are basements) never flood!

4 comments:

jd+hj said...

The world really is tiny. I just got off the phone with HJ, who's back in Korea, and she was telling me to check out the new pictures of your travels in Europe. Who knew the chair in mom's home office in Winnipeg would become such a command center?

The pictures look great. The ones of the forest are really incredible. The one thing I miss the most when I'm in Korea is being able to ride a bike anywhere and be alone. Treasure it.

(Did I mention that I miss HJ dearly? It's only been a day, but I'm falling apart already... Hi, HJ!)

Chris said...

I'm a little disappointed that there are no pictures of beer, or you guys drinking beer....

Susan said...

Hi -- I've just logged on for the first time and I am impressed! I was talking to Nana on the phone earlier when I first entered the blog and was able to read to her from your travelogue -- and she was impressed! Unfortunatley she didn't get the benefit of the great pics -- and they are fantastic.
The architecture, the canals, the manicured lawns and beautiful landscape. Picture perfect! Too bad your accommodation is so shabby...
Enjoy! How could you not?

Michael said...

Hi Andy and Jennifer! It sounds like you are having a lot of fun in Belgium. The photos are great and the architecture is fantastic. Reena and I just watched the movie, "In Bruges". The movie showed all the places that you have posted. I would like to add that one of the characters jumped to his death from the clock tower that you went up. That was the same view from the movie, except it was taken at night. Also, there seemed to be a running joke in the movie that the staircase to the top of the clock tower was too narrow and large people would not be able to climb it. I wonder if that is true. Anyway, glad to see you are having a good time. Make sure you sample many different kinds of chocolates and take lots of pictures of the cathedrals. Later.

Michael

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