Monday, July 29, 2013

Bruges Wanderings in June 2013

On our way out of Belgium, we spent another half-day in Bruges. Since we were with my sister, we went to a lot of the highlights we had seen a year and a half ago. That trip was over Thanksgiving weekend, so it was already wintry and Christmasy. It was nice to see things in their regular state.

The train station had a nice mural depicting Bruges and its environs. Bruges seems to be much larger than the towns around it, I don't think that is really the case.

Art in the train station

We walked back into the heart of town and saw the main Markt with the famous Belfort from the 1200s.


Civic center

Buildings around the Markt

Down a side street is the Burg, where the Stadhuis or state house is located, begun in 1376 and finished in 1420. This area also has the Holy Blood Basilica and Blind Donkey Alley.

Staduis (Blind Donkey Alley is the passage on the right through the white/yellow building)

Blind Donkey Alley opens up on the 19th century Vismarkt or Fish Market. The market area had plenty of whimsical decorations.

Quiet Fish Market

Slowest catch ever!

Milkman's house?

Cuddly lions

We went back to the playground for the children, seeing some nice church decorations at St. Anna's (which was closed) and some of the rest of the park.

St. Anna's doorway lintel with Epiphany

Around back of St. Anna's

Queen Astrid

Neptune on the water

Our next objective was to find the fabulous chocolate shop from the previous trip. On our way we ran into an organ grinder performing on Mariastraat. J put some money in. The fellow invited J to spin the wheel and play the music. J loved it even if his turning (and therefore his music) was not so evenly paced. L took a turn too!

J pays the piper

J takes it for a spin

L has her turn at the wheel

Further up the street we found The Old Chocolate House, which accurately describes itself on its awning.

The Old Chocolate House is totally honest

This is the place where we had a snack in the tea room on our previous trip, including a hot chocolate that was a large bowl of steaming milk with a cup of chocolate chunks next to it. We'd pour in as much chocolate as we'd desire then stir. Alas, on this trip the tea room was closed for renovations. It will be open again in August. It is definitely worth a visit. We bought some chocolates and some chocolate liqueur from downstairs.

We did some more wandering, discovering one of the breweries in the town, but that will have its own post next!

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