2013: Bruges, Belgium

Quaint Streets

May 4-5


The next day was Saturday. We planned to spend a liesurely weekend exploring the town. I started the day as usual with a nice cup of tea, adding a bit of the milk we'd bought the day before.

Ptooie! Pah! Feh! Guess what? (a) I can't read Dutch on labels. (b) We bought BUTTERMILK!

Some mouthwash and a fresh teabag later, we walked a few blocks to a nearby park, with two once-working windmills overlooking the canal. In the park were a number of young men practicing the art of swordplay.

Mike decided to climb the steep staircase to see the interior of one of the old windmills. I decided to stay on the ground and save my legs.

We wandered back toward the town square, snapping photos of the charming architecture and the serene canals.

Just short of the square we found St. Walburgakerk, a Catholic church with the date "1643" over the doorway. Inside it was a feast of stunning white columns and vaulted ceilings contrasted by Baroque black moldings surrounding paintings at the altar and in two side portals.

That night we found a small Italian place for dinner. The waiter, who had moved to Bruges from Italy to find work, was the only person in town who was nice to us in our entire stay. Rudeness is a studied art in Belgium. Unfortunately the food didn't match the service, but with enough wine, who noticed.

On the way back from dinner, we poked our heads into an open door across from our apartment; a sign out front advertised it as some kind of weekends-only club. There was a cover charge, and it clearly wasn't our kind of scene, so we didn't stay; but we took a quick look around for the amusement value. The host, who runs the club, was, um, interesting-looking, as was the entire "club". I half-expected Count Dracula to materialize from behind the bar.

Resting up.

The next day, we realized that we'd planned one too many days here; quaint as it is, Bruges just doesn't have that much to do. We spent some of the day in search of the perfect Belgian chocolates to take home as gifts. The confections were pretty good, but honestly, you can't beat See's Candies.