In Bruges at Last

We first visited Belgium in January 2007 with our sons on holiday between college semesters. With an ambitious itinerary, we skipped Bruges and opted for Brussels instead.  Even though we ate mussels in Brussels (and horse), when the movie, In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell, came out in 2008, I knew missing Bruges was a big mistake. So when we booked a cruise to Spain, Portugal, and Gibralter sailing out of Rotterdam, Netherlands in April 2016, I saw an opportunity to correct my error. We decided to go early and make a side trip first to Bruges.

We arrived by train late in the afternoon. As we exited the railway station, we looked around for a taxi and after a short wait, we found a ride to our hotel, Ter Brughe. I discovered this historic hotel dating from the 13th century on the internet and I believed it was perfectly situated within walking distance of all the sights we wanted to see. We were not disappointed.

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Hotel Ter Brughe on the canal

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Lobby at Hotel Ter Brughe

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Breakfast room at Hotel Ter Brughe

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Breakfast with a canal view

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Swans in the canal outside breakfast room

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The bar at Hotel Ter Brughe

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Pre-dinner drinks at Hotel Ter Brughe

Our first priority after settling into our hotel was to locate dinner. We found Restaurant Bistro de Schilder in a nearby square, and while the waiter wasn’t especially engaging, the food was adequate. Lori and I ordered the white asparagus, a new experience for both of us and quite tasty.

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Lori and Rick perusing the menu at Restaurant Bistro de Schilder

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Chicken entree ordered by Rick and Jim

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White asparagus

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Jim and I enjoyed dinner in this charming square in Bruges

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Statue of painter Jan Van Eyck in the square where we ate dinner

This was also our first experience with famous Zot beer, made in Bruges. We toured the brewery the following day but Jim and Rick each enjoyed a preview Zot with dinner, while Lori and I stuck with our usual red wine.

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Zot beer

After dinner, we set off to find the historic central Market Place where we  began our exploration of this unique UNESCO World Heritage site. Bruges (French), or Brugge (Dutch), is a superior example of a well-preserved medieval town. An economic and commercial powerhouse during the middle ages, it retains its Gothic flavor with narrow cobblestone streets and characteristic architecture.

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Narrow street leading to the Market Square

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Central Market Place in Bruges

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Town Hall in Central Market, Bruges

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One of many charming shops in Bruges

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Central Market, Bruges

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Jim in front of the statue of local heroes, Jan Breydal and Pieter de Coninck, in Market Square, Bruges

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View from Market Square, Bruges

The best-known building in Bruges is undoubtedly the bell tower, dating from the 13th century. We enthusiastically planned to climb the 366 steps to the top the following morning for a panoramic view of this historic, captivating medieval town.

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Bell Tower in Market Square, Bruges

Based on events in April 2016.

 

 

Categories: Travel, Uncategorized, UNESCO | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “In Bruges at Last

  1. Anonymous

    As always beautiful photos and excellent commentary. Bruges is on our bucket list since seeing that movie the first time.

    Like

  2. Love Bruges – so nice to revisit in your post!

    Like

  3. We loved Bruges and it’s lovely to see the photos from your recent visit. The hotel looks and sounds charming!

    Like

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