The beautiful Town Hall. And no I don't stalk people walking dogs, honest!
The Belfry in all its glory with the Christmas market in front.
I bought a box of chocolates here for Claudia and her son. Okay...and six chocolates for me...this is the first chocolate shop I stepped into - can you believe before this I just peered into the windows and drooled. Truth! This shop comes highly recommended by a load of famous travel gurus like Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Frommers et moi!
Now those are meringues!!! (no, I didn't have any)
I never get tired of seeing these bridges...
After a rest back in the room for a couple of hours (my knee was letting me know it was not pleased) I decided it was time to find some supper. I liked the idea of trying Flemish beef stew (simmered with beer) so then I had to check out a "few" places before I swooped in. I liked the idea of salad with it which not all of them had. Yes it was in the gravy but somehow it was still okay. Fries again...I normally don't have fries that often but oh well...I'm on holidays!!!
Then it was back to my room to relax and have an early night.
The next morning dawned sunny with a lovely blue sky...clouds did roll in a bit later but I was just happy it wasn't raining - or snowing!!! (even though Bruges with snow looks pretty in pictures - I'd prefer it to be just in pictures!) After my usual croissant, cheese and coffee (different place) I was off exploring. Today I decided to take a boat trip - the seats didn't look too difficult to get into and the weather was perfect. The boat trip was only half an hour but very enjoyable. I must say that was my only contact with tourists in Bruges as I didn't go to any of the museums - they were mainly art museums which did not interest me at all. Like I've said before I am a philistine when it comes to art. I do love those detailed pictures of people skating on frozen canals...hmm..wonder if they had any of those...(more a Dutch thing I would think) I was happy just wandering around with my camera.
When I finished the boat trip I wandered around areas I hadn't been to before. I had left my backpack at the hotel so was free to wander.
At the main square I noticed a man laying on the pavement surrounded by about six people with one frantically giving him heart compressions. It seemed forever but finally an ambulance raced across the square followed by another one about five minutes later. The first one had paramedics but the second one obviously had doctors. A heavy blanket was held up to block people's views (because there were the obvious rubber neckers - I stood well back by the market) as they took invasive action. I wandered off to take some photos and when I got back there was a tent, the ambulance was gone and the doctors from earlier (along with someone else - a coroner?) were standing in the tent looking down and talking. So I assumed the worst. Very sad to think this fellow was probably out with his family or friends enjoying the day and this is how it ended.
Then I had this at the market for my late lunch (though I did briefly think of my cholesterol especially after witnessing the sad event earlier) ......it contains the ingredients below. I had been eyeballing it all weekend so decided to go for it. May I add it was YUM! Think scalloped potatoes with a whole lotta good shit on them!
Last view of the ice rink.
Bikes everywhere in Bruges and lots of them transported things.
Then it was time to head to Brussels. Originally I had planned to put in a couple of hours in Brussels but in the end I was just too tired plus my backpack was too heavy. So I took the train to the train station and went across to a restaurant and had this...
Sherry infused beer - where have you been all my life? It was so good I had two!!! And trust me I am no beer drinker but oh my my I'd make an exception for that.
The trip back was good (and not just from the effects of the beer) although a bit noisy as the carriage was packed. The volume went up when we stopped at Lille and picked up families returning from Disneyland Paris. Thank goodness for MP3 players.
And that was Bruges! A place I would definitely recommend visiting. I must say I am now in the mood for canals and am dreamily thinking "hmmm...it would be nice if my mystery trip sent me to Amsterdam" - it's been a long time since I've been there.