Saturday, October 3, 2009

Best of Bruges, Saturday morning

Wonderfully walkable Bruges.
Beware of cyclists, and lost tourists in cars.
Wear thick-soled shoes and mind the uneven cobbles, especially if you tend to walk around looking up at the decorated eaves and spires, or keep an eye on just the right opening you need for that view down a narrow street with a prize in the distance.
The chocolate museum! Free samples with entry, both at the beginning and at the demonstration at the end. Must go back Monday before my train to pick up a bag...

Where to eat, where to eat...
Lunch was at a random tourist place on the main square. The national dish is of course mussels and fries, but I'm rather tempted by a local dish: Rabbit in the Flemish Fashion.
Mmmm. I do like bunny for a hot meal. It's been threatening rain all morning, and I know mussels cool off so quickly. But rabbit in dark beer sauce sounds like a dish to keep me warm all afternoon.
I don't expect much from this place, depending as it does on seducing tourists away from the restaurants to either side, but I'm pleasantly surprised to be served two large peices of rabbit in a delicious sauce. Wonderful. Good idea.
The only thing is, next time I must insist on a table indoors. Where smoking is forbidden. This heated terrace is quite toasty and out of the wind, but when the guy at the next table lights up, the cloud of pollution comes right for me.
Gag. Cough.

The shops are having a big sidewalk sale day, so I take advantage for a couple of gifts and a top I'll wear tomorrow. I hope not to get too lost walking back to my boathotel to drop the load off. One thing I haven't found yet is a good book of photography of Bruges. They've got a cheap paper version, but the printing is awful. The only hard-cover I've seen is terribly overpriced for an unexceptional collection of images. On a sunny day I could do better myself.

Though Bruges is not an inexpensive destination. I spent more than 30€ on lunch, and I shopped around - that was typical for a restaurant meal (dinner will be a snack in my room!). My cute hotel (a converted barge) I got a great deal on online, or I'd never be staying there. So maybe the book prices I find outrageous are just the way it is here.

Oh, and I just remembered to mention. The Chinese guys across the aisle at the restaurant had come all the way to Belgium, and were all eating spaghetti bolognaise. Like kids!
Alright. It is the Venice of the North. One of them...

Detail from the same doorway.

It's surprising that the busses fit down the narrow, winding streets.

Sorry for the photo quality. I've yet to install any image-messing-with software on my netbook, and, well, what can you do when the sun is just not ever going to come out? I'm just happy it didn't rain!
Many more pictures on Facebook, Mom.


Rachel Cotterill said...

I was in Brussels for a long weekend last month - had considered doing a day trip out to Bruges (or Ghent or Antwerp...) but there was just so much to see in Brussels!

I thought St Petersburg was the Venice of the North - not that I've been to the Venice of Venice, so I can't really judge...

steven said...

hello nanu - the pictures were fine - the architecture amazing!! my mum went there as a teenager at a time when visiting the continent was oh-so-daring! she loved belgium. i'd really like to see these buildings myself as i have questions about them - particularly the very large one you show with the thin tower like a finger pointing upwards. have a lovely sunday. steven

GigiSxm said...

i think the fits with the shootout theme perfectly

Hels said...

Did you see the film "In Bruges" (2008)? I thought the story line was a bit gross but the photography was sublime - very atmospheric, very Bruges.

Bruges' architecture and building material look at their loveliest bathed in sunshine. I've only been there for 2 days in my entire life, but it was a bit overcast and drizzly.

Art and Architecture