Walking Bruges (Flanders, Belgium)

 photo image_zps93o0fd3x.jpeg
Clip clop clip clop. The sounds of horse drawn carts greets us as we walk out of our hotel onto the wet cobblestones of Bruges. I’ve used the Izi.travel app to create something of a route for us to walk today. It looks like there’s something to see at every turn.

 photo image_zpsk11cygnb.jpeg

We start our exploration in the Market Square with it’s gorgeous architecture. The shape of the shop fronts is emphasised by the bright colours. Its particularly stunning given the grey skies and freezing cold air. The only thing missing is snow.

 photo image_zpsaymby2r2.jpeg

We wander the square. There’s bicycles parked everywhere and some are particularly funky. Clearly this is a funky town. The Christmas Markets are already in full swing with ice skating, shops selling warm clothes and Christmas decorations, and of course Belgian waffles and hot chocolate. I love this part of winter in Europe. We came across it last year in Krakow too.

 photo image_zpsqrtj2a9p.jpeg

Our walk takes us past some incredible gothic architecture. Like this building in Jan van Eyckplein (Jan van Eyck Square). I can see why cousins were so insistent we visit Bruges . There’s not a dull corner or square to be found here. It’s all immensely impressive.

 photo image_zpsjmmddnrm.jpeg

 photo image_zpsv162cdef.jpeg

We walk down small steets near the outer edges of the old city. Buildings that look like old farm houses sit here marking times gone past. The windows typically have stained glass panes and brightly painted shutters. The Folk Arts Museum is located in this area. It’s well worth the visit with each room representing a different aspect of life in Medieval and 18th Century Bruges. I am particularly fascinatd to learn that the smoking of cigarettes was introduced to Europe after Columbus’s journeys to the Americas. The guy who first introduced smoking to Europe was jailed for seven years as a witch. Unfortunately for society after his release smoking took off and has been killing people ever since.

 photo image_zps8he4t6u8.jpeg

Kruispoort (Cross Gate) marks the entry to the old city.

 photo image_zpshytrh2pq.jpeg

 photo image_zpsua5ifw3d.jpeg

We’re hungry now so go in search of lunch. Unfortunately, the Brugians take ater the French and kitchens close at 2pm. It’s about -1’C but there’s nothing else for it but to have a picnic. Paul is less impressed than me as we sit on a park bench under trees with icicles hanging from their branches. Fortunately, the windmills make a pretty background.

 photo image_zpslt24flms.jpeg

 photo image_zpsedednynk.jpeg

 photo image_zpshkdmkojg.jpeg

 photo image_zpsdfhwchju.jpeg

 photo image_zpsiuuplrqn.jpeg

We almost have to walk just to stay warm. Even though we’re well dressed, this is weather for sitting by a warm fire. The cold and mist does add atmosphere to the architecture though. Especially the Harry Potter-esque guild building. And the brightly painted “modern” residences, which reflect beautifully on the still canal water. We are still not used to the near-perpetual sunset effects of the light with the sun sitting so low in the sky. I think this is part of what I like about winter in Europe – the colours brought on by this low sun.

 photo image_zpsspshlipu.jpeg

 photo image_zps0f4akhmt.jpeg

All that’s left to do to end our walk is to indulge in a fresh Belgian waffle with melted Belgian chocolate. We warm up in our hotel room revelling in the taste of our first Belgian chocolates bought right here in Bruges before hitting the streets for a wintery evening walk in the chill air.

Tomorrow promises more Bruges beauty.

4 thoughts on “Walking Bruges (Flanders, Belgium)

  1. I really like your pictures. How do you make them? What camera and filters do you use. We are going to Rome in a few weeks and I would like to make pictures as nice as these 🙂
    Furthermore I’m looking forward to your next posts. Curious to see where you’ve been this time in our tiny country.

    • Hi Judith I was using an iPhone 6 to take photos but I broke it before we went to The Netherlands so on this trip I used an iPhone 5. I use the editing features on Instagram to touch up photos. I like using my smart phone as a camera because it’s something simple to carry in my pocket and I always have it with me anyway. Have a great time in Rome 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s