We sailed into Zeebrugge harbor this morning, with a forecast of rain. It looked cloudy but luckily no rain all day!
We took a tour to Bruges – if you set out to design a medieval town, it would be hard to improve on central Bruges. The cobblestone streets and many canals combined with amazing old buildings make it one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. There is a bell tower that rings every 15 minutes. The town is a UNESCO world heritage site.
We had a walking tour of the town and then a canal boat tour which allowed us to see the city from another point of view.
And this dog had a good view of us as we passed by in the canal boat! But he doesn’t look too interested.
We learned that the term “burg” means fortification, so towns and cities that have that in the name had forts. And the first stock exchange was in Bruges, papers were exchanged on the river bank which is where the term “bank” came from. Who knew?
Of course we had to have the Belgian waffles, and we did some real damage in the chocolate shops. Pure heaven, I would say!
A couple of highlights – This is a country known for its lace. There was a lace making demonstration going on along the streets and above the brewery – this only happens once a year, so there was an opportunity to see these amazing artists at work. Check out the chess board and the dominos, all handmade of lace.
There was also a parade of old cars (over 100 of them) that also happens only once a year as they pass through Bruges on the way to other towns in Belgium. The drivers and passengers were all decked out!
Our guide told us there are over 1400 kinds of beer found in Bruges, and each beer deserves its own glass. Here, we could see a display of that, the entire display was a whole wall. And here’s the brewery sign.
Here are just a few more pictures of the wonderful buildings and churches. This is a place we want to visit again.