Although we had an incredibly hard time pulling ourselves away from our friend's cooking, we decided we probably needed to do some sight seeing. And since every trip to Belgium usually includes a trip to Bruges, why not head there? Bruges is also in the Flemish area of Belgium and we were eager to hear some Dutch being spoken.
We started off the morning with a trip to the delicious Patissiere where we found the most delightful of all pastries and they were 1.10 Euros!!!! A croissant-like pastry stuffed with the most amazing creme was all Baby Bird needed to keep quiet on the train. (Of course, we only bought 2 and I only got 1/2 of the other one. )
We were a little tired to say the least...
I am not really sure what to think about Bruges. It was a really lovely city filled with canals, old medieval churches and history but I think the problem is that Bruges knows it is a really lovely city filled with canals, medieval churches and history. It was very touristy to say the least. However, in saying that, I am glad we went and would recommend people still visit there.
There are a lot of wonderful sculptures around. Here is one with a honeycomb shape that Baby Bird loved to run through.
One a side note, the typical hexagon shaped honeycomb is no accident. The hexagon is a very efficient way of maximizing the amount of space using the least amount of material. You can read more about it here if you are curious.
We went to the main square which is called the Grote Markt. We found out pretty quickly that if you know German, you can kind of make out the Dutch signs. For example, the Dutch language seems to replace "y" with the "j" in German. However, (and I don't think I am exaggerating here) but everyone seems to speak perfect English here.
There are 2 main "centers" of Bruges. The Markt and Burg Square. Unfortunately, our pictures of the Grote Markt did not turn out but Wikipedia has some beautiful panoramic views of Bruges if you want to get a better idea of how beautiful this city is. (scroll all the way down)
The next 2 pictures are of Burg Square.
Here is the Provinciaal Hof in Burg Square.
We also stumbled on a Belgium Wall of Beer!
Bruges is a city of canals-the Venice of the North it is sometimes called. (I am not making that up)
There are many lovely sculptures in Bruges. Here is one about bicycles near the main Bus Terminal.
A really beautiful courtyard we stumbled upon.
I still didn't feel like I got a good vibe about what the city was like. The city was very touristy but touristy with many lovely chocolate and lace shops! Of course, we were traveling with a 2 year old who refused to nap and so museums for the most part were out of the question. I guess that means we have to go back!
Still more Belgium info to come...stay tuned!