Bruges - what a wonderful little town. The center of it, where we stayed, is chuck-full of little streets and restaurants on the corner and churches and historical buildings, and everything else you can possible image a historical European town should be.
|Burg and surroundings|
|behind Church of our lady of Bruges|
|Who cares, it's pretty.|
Bruges considers itself to be a chocolate capital of the world, so there is a chocolates and sweets store every 20-30 feet or so, especially around more touristy spots. Every and each one of them claims to sell the best Belgian chocolate there is. We of course tried a few, and then a few more, and actually ended up in Chocolate History Museum, curated by on the major chocolate producer in Belgium. Because they are not paying me for it, and truth to be told I don't remember, I will not endorse their name here. The chocolates were really good, though.
Bruges has several museum and churches available to visit, but truth be told I enjoyed more just walking around and absorbing the atmosphere of it. We tried our best to avoid more crowded areas, which was not entirely possible, for it's smallness Bruges is still a big tourist attraction.
We took a free tour, organized by local historical society and activists, and the guide showed us a bunch of places we could have possibly missed. We didn't do a lot of research coming into the Bruges, and there are some sights that are worthy a check mark. If you, the reader, ever visit, take a walk around the canals, visit the cloister and the surrounding areas, take side street to the smaller marketplace, and if you get lucky visit the flea market there.
If you want to sit down and enjoy people gawking I would suggest avoid the tourist trap of the main market place and go eat some mussels at Poules Moules on Stevinplein. The mussels there are really really good, and the place is not a super "tourist trap".
|mussels at Poules Moules|
|Maya, pretending to be royalty at Historium Bruges|
|Inside the cloister|
|This is behind our Lady of Bruges church.|
|The ancient owner of this mansion was one of the Society of Golden Fleece membership holders|
The next and the last chapter we'll visit Paris - our final destination.