in bruges (belgium day 2)

20.03.2011 

No, it is not about the movie in which Colin Farrell received Golden Globe in 2008.

Bruges (or Brugge in Dutch) was the second city we visited in Belgium. Maarten told me that there was no particular interesting spot to visit, but the beauty of the whole city itself that was worth visiting.

And he was right.

Bruges was one of those typical small European cities that were filled with old houses, churches, and cobblestone roads. However, it was also like Volendam; those who went there were tourists. And loads of them. We went there on a sunny Sunday, so the number of tourists was even magnified. It felt like going to Amsterdam in the summer. Minus the smell of the joints.

In my opinion, Bruges was really similar to a mix of Dordrecht and Maastricht. It was filled with old red bricks houses and canals through the heart of the city, with several tall Catholic churches.


in bruges

All we did in Bruges was basically just a city tour, walking from one tourist site to another, like: Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerk (Church of Our Lady), Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde, and walking through the famous canals of Bruges.

the canal and the leafless trees

And of course we went to the tower of Belfry (Dutch: Belfort), the 83-meter-high tower which allowed you to see the entire city from the top. We climbed the tower’s 366 steps, and had a half panoramic view from the top. It was half panoramic because the tower was under restoration.

belfort tower

view from the top

On the way to the top of the tower there were some stops, and one of them was a small room showing how the musical bells worked. I was always curious how they did this, having lived close to the Leiden’s stadhuis (town hall) for almost 2 years.

Basically they worked like the draaiorgel (barrel organ), yet unlike draaiorgel which used one continuous fax-paper-like plates, the tower bells used one huge piece of plates transformed into the shape of a circle.

After climbing the tower, we felt like we had accomplished our mission. Yet the day was still sunny and bright so we decided to go for a little more stroll in the city. We went to the stadhuis and burg, but we didn’t go in. We merely took photos from outside like the tourist majority did.

We wanted to end our day in Brugge by having a nice Belgian dinner, however it was not possible because the restaurant that we went to (called ‘t Schrijvertje, due to its location at the Guido Gezelleplein — Guido Gezelle was a famous writer from Bruges) only started cooking their dinner at 6, while we needed to leave the city by 7.

So we had a dinner at an awful fast food restaurant at Brussel Zuid station instead. Again, we took “our” two-wagon train back to Noisepants at 22.26, the last train to that small deserted station.

Anyway, we went to some nice shops in Brugge. We ended up buying some tea (I bought the poets’ tea) and a box of chocolates for ourselves :p

In Bruges, I took photos of a whole lot of leafless trees. They were really nice, although some of them are similar to those in the Netherlands. But still, I was really happy taking photos of those trees.



more photos can be found here

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