Monday, March 30, 2009

Bruges: Saturday 28th March 2009

Belgian Rail has a great deal on weekends where train travel is half price. This also means the volume of travellers is also high. Fighting our way onto the train we headed to Bruges – also an hour North-West out of Brussels,.

We started our day in Bruges with a half hour canal boat trip, looking at the buildings from the water level and getting a general feel for the town layout.

The boats and the views from the water

The historic city centre is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO and is has masses of visitors every year. It is a very well preserved medieval city.

We visited another Church of our lady – this one’s tower, at 122,3 meters in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world (made of small bricks). It also boasts a Michaelangelo marble Statue - these are rare as most of his work is in Italy

We meandered our way to the central market square, where decided against climbing the tower due to the long queue.

The tower

(NB. The recent movie "In Bruges" is an excellent offering if you haven't already seen it. There is a particulalry gory scene associated with the tower, but it is funny and a review called it "A modern day Grimm fairytale")

Buildings around the market Square

We had a look around the nearby City Hall square, with some impressive gilding. There was also an unusual church “Basilica of the Holy Blood” I think the canal boat driver said there were 20 churches in Bruges for 20,000 people in the historic city.

Holy Blood Church

Every third shop does appear to be a chocolatier, so we felt it only appropriate that more chocolate was needed today.

The architecture of this inner city is magnificent.

A quiet spot on the way back to the station - the Beguinage - a monastery for the Benedictine sisters

A great days trip. Bruges is worthwhile to be on a travel plan. We both really enjoyed our visit.

Andrew, having taken photographic advice from Mr Richard Harris, is now semi-professional, taking photos for pretty tourists

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