Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In Brugge, Pastries, Chocolate, Beer, Restaurants and Celebrities

What IS that?  It's so bright...  It's the suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!!!!  We love you Belgium!  Man, Brugge is shameless.  It could the be the trashiest place on the earth (but it is far from that!), and all it would have to do is let the clouds slide by, and show us the sun.  Oh man, I forgot how much I love the sun.  Even though it is still a chilly 6C, at least it is sunny!

We were greeted at the train station by Eddie, the owner of the Brugge apartment that we have rented.  Eddie and his wife Anne-Marie have owned the apartment since September 2012, and they are new to the VRBO world.  But I can tell you from personal experience renting VRBO apartments, they are rockstars in the VRBO world.  They have thought of everything in this apartment.  Think of the fanciest hotel you have stayed in, and then add the sweetest local couple that point everything out to you that the apartment and the city has to offer.  Awesome. 

Our apartment is located in this narrow little alley off of a main street in the centre of Brugge.  The location is perfect,  and very quiet.
Lots of sun pours in the apartment that is in a building that is over 300 years old.
The kids room.
It's quite interesting.  Strasbourg and Brugge are basically the same concept.  Oval shaped  island's, with a canal circling the core.  


But the two cities have a VERY different feel.  Although they are both big tourist destinations, Brugge puts a smile on your face.  Mind you, I don't really know if it's Brugge, Bruges, Bruge..... So,  you may see a few different spellings.  Kooky Belgians.

If you haven't seen the 2008 movie titled "In Bruges", you really should.  It is shot entirely in the town, and it gives a great feel for the charm of the city.  Rated 18A, so don't save it for family movie night. In Bruges - Movie

Provincial Court building in Market Square 1887.
The Belfry in the Market Square was added in 1240.  

Provincial Court building and the The Belfry.
Provincial Court in the middle, the Post Office on the right.  Not bad for a bunch of stamp lickers.

We had a great meal on Monday night at a restaurant that was recommended by the apartment owners.  I had an amazing Dover Sole.  So, so good.  While we were at dinner it got really kooky. A young Japanese couple came into the restaurant, and for whatever reason, they thought I was someone famous.  They kept walking by our table, they would look at me, stop, turn and go back to their table. At one point, the girl got up, walked to our table, and took my picture.  It was about then that the older couple next to us were trying to figure out who I was.  Crazy fans.  Apparently I am still big in Japan. I hate being famous.  

On Wednesday morning I got up early to go find a grocery store for some milk, and a pastry shop for some breakfast.  It took me forever to find a corner store.  Along the way, I was able to get some great shots of a still city that was just waking up.
The tall tower is The Church of our Lady 13th - 15th century.
Stadhuis 1376 - Brugge Town Hall.
Belfry from the canal.

Amazing reflection.
A few old Belgian boys talk about the latest "Big Brother" episode.

When we finally got out the door for the day, the kids wanted a Belgian waffle.  The little van was literally 25 meters from the little side street that leads to our apartment. 

This reminds me of the gelato pick from Belagio from "The Frog in the Well - Italy"
The Frog in the Well - Italy.

Love the traditional "step gable" facade used in the traditional Medieval Brugge homes.

St. Salvator's Church, which dates back to the 10th century.  
This was a vary interesting church compared to the various ones we have visited this trip.   This one had several oil paintings from the 1600 and 1700"s.  There were several very large paintings on the walls, and many more that were just rested up against walls.  In some ways it was more of a museum than a church. 

One of the many paintings in St. Salvator.  I'm not really sure what's going on here.  It kinda reminds me of the water game at the Stampede.  Maybe she won that stuffy she is holding?

Sometimes the kids make bad decisions.

For about 30 minutes after this little episode, Fintan was complaining about not feeling good.  Shocker...

Um.  I guess some guys just REALLY, REALLY like riding their horse.

We went to a Belgian Bistro called "The Hobbit".  They had all you can eat beef ribs.  Fin took down 2.5 racks.  He wanted to eat more, but we had to cut him off.

Wednesday is market day in the Old Market Square.  While the rest got ready, I headed out to buy us a few treats.

After breakfast we climbed the narrow 360 steps up the Belfry.

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There are 47 bells in the Belfry.  26 are from 1742-1748, and 21 were added in 2010.  In total, the bells weigh 27 tons!
The Frog gets around.

This was maybe the weirdest museum that I have ever gone to.  I now know far too much about potatoes. But the kids loved it.  Kooky kids.

After our date with the fry king of Belgium, we took a short canal boat trip.  Fin seemed really excited about it.

We finished off our time in Brugge with a trip to the Chocolate museum, and a great Italian meal.  The kids each had a little limoncello at the end of the meal, so there was no complaining at bed time.  Awesome.

Our first experience with Belgium was awesome.  Loved the pastries, chocolates, beer, restaurants, the amazing Brugge, and the people.  It is a definite must visit for anyone ever in the area.  The best part, for us celebs, you can always find a quiet spot where no one will recognize you.  But on the chance someone does, they will likley just snap a pic and move on.

Off to a town called Paris in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. This fame thing in Japan happened to homer... You just know you're shilling some toilet paper over there!