October 1, 2009

Bruges: Day 2

Mr. Wonderful and I took the sites of the day in early.

First stop: the windmills
These are some of Bruges' original windmills, erected in the 17770's. They still function and you can even climb inside for a view of...

The insides:
I was kind of freaked out to climb to the top, but I had to! I'm acrophobic. Little did I know that more heights, climbing and big gears were in my future...

A picturesque scene on our walk to get coffee.
Maybe you saw this picture on this blog?

Bruges' canals are so pretty!
I stopped to say hello to my feathered friends:

Along the canals, is this statue of famous Flemish painter Jan van Eyck lived and died in Bruges. He was one the best painters in Europe during the 15th century.
The Arnolfini Portrait is my favorite painting by van Eyck,
(NOT in Bruges).
I was amazed when I first learned about it in Art History. The symbolism, techniques and background of the painting are fascinating. It now hangs at the National Gallery of London. Read more about the painting here.

High priority on this day's list was to climb to the top of the Belfry.
Which we did do, after lunch. And no, that isn't the photographer, the belfry is actually leaning about 1 meter to the east.

"It's all winding stairs!"

At this point we're a little less than half way there...

Along the way, we peek in a room, While there is a carillon, there is also this HUGE cylinder with combs on it. It's like a GIGANTIC music box. Pretty nifty, eh?

The Belfry does keep the time, and these amazing gears still work!

The view from the top!
180 km to Amsterdam:

The view from the opposite direction:

270 km to Paris this way...

After the Belfry, we went to the Gruuthuuse, the archeological museum of the city.
(more pics coming tomorrow about that.)

After the museum I was hungry and the scent of waffles wafted. I followed my nose...
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Heavenly.
But, a little messy.

Our host in Bruges kindly took us to the coast just as the sun was setting. Did you know that the coast of Belgium is only 64 km (about 39 miles)?
It was lovely to be by the water again...
I picked up some sea shells and sand in the dark. They are my North Sea Treasures.

But wait... there's more...

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