As luck would have it, today is Wednesday

2008 August 6

Brugge, België
Bruges, Belgium

dscn0973Got going early this morning to catch the morning sunlight in Brugge.  The old town is a 15-minute walk from where I’m staying.  I didn’t know what to expect and I think that was a good thing.  I was pleasantly surprised at the old world charm of this city.

Narrow winding cobblestone streets, canals, bridges, churches, chocolate, beer, and oh, lot’s of parks.  I really like Bruges (Brujzh like the French call it), Brugge (Bruh-guh like the Flemish call it).  I had the place pretty much to myself for a couple of hours, other than the locals.  The temperature was pleasantly cool and my feet were feeling good.  I got to watch the place come alive as the tea rooms and shops received their morning deliveries and shop keepers cleaned the streets in front of their places.  Of course, I was just another local… I’m sure my camera didn’t give me away.

dscn1061Everywhere I turned was a postcard scene.  I think I took 400+ pictures today.   I made the hike to the Grote Markt (Big Market Square), which was just breathtaking.  Every Wednesday is market day in the town square and as luck would have it, today is Wednesday.  The square was filled with stands of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, etc.  I picked up some strawberries, cheese, and a nectarine for later.  I then got some of the famous fries everyone talks about.  I understand that they are cooked twice and there’s some other step as well.  I have to say, they were pretty good fries.

dscn1042I did take the boat ride through the canals, it was touristy, but it was nice to sit and relax and the breeze was soothing as it was starting to get pretty hot.  And, I got some nice pictures along the way.

Chocolate is pretty big here.  So many chocolate shops and, there’s a chocolate museum.  I’m not a huge chocolate fan, so I was safe.  Bicycles, bicycles, bicycles, on the other hand; not so safe.  I was nearly taken out at least three times.  You really have to be careful.  On the roads, they seem to have priority or rights of way over cars.

Life seems to be quite relaxed here.  Many locals hang out in the parks and take long meal breaks.  I talked with some and they’re very protective of their way of life.  Yeah, I talked with them; most everyone here speaks English.

My exit of Bruges took a while.  It was hot, so the walking was slow with stops in shady parks along the way to relax, cool off and watch people.  I found such scenic places to sit and contemplate the fact that I’m in Brugge, België, this is a gorgeous spot and I can sit here for as long as feel like it.  I didn’t want that feeling to go away.  At the last park, I snacked on the goodies I got from the market.

I got back to the hostel and took a short nap then got up and read for a while.  What trouble will that Dirk Pitt get himself into now?  Had a nice supper at a restaurant around the corner and returned to the hostel to write in my journal.  I’m sitting here in the lounge at the Bruges – Europa Hostel, again.  And having a beer, again.  That’s two beers in as many nights.  That’s a lot for me.  It’s cheaper than sodas though, what is a girl to do?

I’m sitting here with Pascal, the bar tender.  Pascal says hi to you all.  He’s cute.  He tells me beer is huge here.  The local symbol of Brugge is a beer.  There’s a brewery in town as well as a beer museum.  The word ‘beer’ is also used for everything that is good.  Well, it’s been a long day, must relax now.

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