Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Day In Bruges

Julie and I arrived back in Brussels after our Vienna trip on Monday night. On Tuesday, Scott was working and Julie had some classes to attend. Scott and Julie suggested I either take the train to Antwerp or to Bruges. I knew people who had been to Bruges, and I had heard it referred to as the "Venice of the North" so that is where I decided to spend the day.
It was about an hour and a half train ride from Waterloo - Scott dropped me off at the train station on his way to work and I was in Bruges by about 10am. The main city is about a 15 minute walk from the train station, so there were a lot of people doing exactly what I was doing. Scott and Julie had a travel book on Bruges, and it had a section titled "A Day In Bruges" so I focused on those highlights.

I went to the Markt (Market Square) first. The city of Bruges has two town squares - the Market Square is the commercial center of Bruges.

As I was walking from the Market Square to Burg Square, I went into a little shop with that sold cuckoo clocks. These reminded me of my grandparents...many years ago when they travelled to Switzerland, they brought us back a cuckoo clock which my mom had in our house when I was younger. She actually just got it refurbished so it is "cuckooing" again. These are expensive things...anywhere between 500 and 1,000 euros!
The second town square is the Burg Square - this is where administrative Bruges exists.
Bruges has a medieval is evidenced by all the architecture.

The canal district.
This is why it is known as the Venice of the North.

I stopped at a coffee shop along the canal and had a cappuccino.
Most of the coffee shops are actually called tea rooms.
This is Bruges most famous landmark, the Belfry.
I decided to climb up to the top - a total of 366 steps. This "wheel" is what causes the bells to ring. Every 15 minutes it starts turning in a circle, and the notches on the wheel are what signal the bells to move.
The carillon (musical instrument in a bell tower) in this belfry has 48 bells, ranging in size. Bruges still employs a full time carrilloneur who ensures the bells operate properly (which is every 15 minutes). The carrilloneur also gives concerts.
The Market Square from the top of the belfry.

I walked through a few more shops while I was on my way to find a lunch restaurant. The guy who was working in this shop gave me a few samples of these cookies.
My amazing lunch in Bruges. From my Bruges book, I was trying to find a place that was recommended in it (after my overseas travels, I have found it is best to go with a restaurant recommendation). I think the place I was looking for closed down, because I know I was in the right spot. However, I did find this place, Lunchboutique. It was located on a quiet street and I ate outside on the cobblestone road.
My train back to Brussels left at 3:30pm so after lunch started walking back to the train station. A great day wandering the streets of Bruges, and it is somewhere I would go back and stay a night since I didn't get to see it all.

1 comment:

Stacy Phillips Certified Health Coach said...

How exciting, and what great pictures! I was in Bruges last April after I decided to take an overnight trip away from Paris to see some of the surrounding country. I climbed those steps too and watched an accordian player who was singing opera. Had the local "fish stew" and stopped at the Half Moon Brewery for some suds. It was fun!