September 30, 2009

Bruges: Day 1

Day 1:
Arriving at the train station.
Brugge is the Flemish spelling.

Swans by the canal and the Beguinage.
I am amazed at how long their necks are! And, they can do the most outrageous moves with their necks.
This guy is just showing off.
At the Beguinage, the trees all seem to grow in one direction ~ towards the church.
And, they only sell one kind of mint:
Even though this nun is wearing shades, she too is looking towards the Beguinage.
I know what you're thinking, "So, Lydia, what's a beguinage?"

Basically it's a city within a city for the Beguines of the Roman Catholic Church. They are beautiful, quiet places.
We stopped in for a pint at an old brewery.
Founded by Henri Maes in 1856, Brouwerij De Halve Maan is the only brewery in Bruges' town center.
In my glass is Brugse Zot, or fool of Bruges. To learn why it's called that, click here.

That was nice and refreshing, but we still haven't seen the city center.
We ran by the Church of Our Lady.

Hurry! If we make it by 4:30, we can go to the top of the Belfry!
Shoot! Too late. Let's just walk across the Grote Markt (Grand Square) and find something to eat... After a proper Belgian meal, beer and coffee, we continued our walk. Taking pictures of whatever we pleased, because that's what we do.

A beautiful Bruges street, just before dusk.
A Baroque church, with, wait... Are those, hands? Yes! Yes! They are hands sticking out of a church! Crazy! I'd never seen anything like that before.

Taking pictures sure does make you thirsty.

What's this? A bar in the cellar of a church! Cool! By far, the best bar I've been to in Belgium, this is 't Poatersgat, or The Monk's Hole.
My favorite Belgian site, and today's special on ze bord:

Soon we were on our way, walking and taking photos.

I stopped on a bridge to take a picture. Then I turned around. Gorgeous.

Walking along, we heard choral music coming from another Baroque style church. So we walked inside. It was the most beautiful church I had ever seen.

Walking around Bruges at night...
Time to go home.