Bruges Part 2
My second day in Bruges was to be filled with a lot more walking around the remaining sites from my original plan. But you can’t start any day without a good breakfast. With half an hour left of breakfast, the dining room was still full. Everyone was on holiday so a late start is expected. I wasn’t in a major rush. The breakfast itself was fairly standard with the continental variety.
No visit to Belgium would be complete without mentioning chocolate. It may not have been lunch yet but visiting the chocolate museum was just too tempting. The museum’s exhibition space was set over a few floors. Visitors were guided through a history of chocolate and how it has become integrated into modern society. The walkthrough is informative without feeling like there is too much in each section.
At the end of the museum, there is a chance to see a live demonstration of how chocolate is set. I walked in towards the end of this, but I had seen demonstrations before. I got there just in time to have a nibble at a few chocolate pieces, yum!
Time for some art. With the heat, I was looking forward to being inside an air-conditioned building, where I could stand and admire something beautiful. After I paid for my ticket I walked past a locker area where two members of staff practically tossed a token at me and said put your stuff in a locker. Doing as I was told I left my bag in the locker and only carried my camera with me.
The gallery was a mix of art genres. Classic paintings, modern art, cubism, abstract, there was a bit of everything, which was a good thing. I was engaged throughout and there were many pieces that really caught my attention. I wasn’t sure if I could take photos but I took a few cheeky ones anyway.
Gustave van de Woestyne – Last Supper, oil on canvas
Gaston De Mey – Heyxov, acrylic on canvas
A beautiful landscape painting by Paul Josef de Cock, I think.
Paintings such as this make me feel relaxed and emotional at how paint can capture a scene so perfectly.
Church of Our Lady
This church has a magnificent tower that dominates the sky over Bruges. It is one of the towers that I saw from the Belfry Tower in Bruges Part 1. It took me a minute or so to realise where you needed to buy tickets to enter. You actually have to buy a ticket across the road in another museum. The church is the location for the world famous Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo.
Once I did get it I took a few photos then I thought, “wait where is the sculpture that I have come here to see?” I had actually already photographed it at the first altar I saw, oops! I was expecting it to be a bigger and loads of people crowding around the altar to see it. I saw it photographed it and didn’t even think that was it. It is actually a very beautiful altar.
- It is the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime.
- The sculpture came in Belgium in 1504.
A field of swans at Beguinage.
My canal boat came past here the day before. This is also where I took photos of some of the many horse-drawn carriages you can see around Bruges and I attempted to have a double scoop of ice cream in a cone (I ate it all before it got too messy).
When I was planning where to go, finding a lovely park to walk through definitely had to be on the list. Minnewater was better than I was even hoping for. The sun and setting matched perfectly to create the most beautiful photos. It made me feel peaceful. I soaked up all this beauty and it made me appreciate being in this magical city.
St Saviour’s Cathedral
This cathedral had the third of the giant towers in Bruges. It was the closest to my hotel and was just off one of the main high streets. All the towers look so epic against the small rise buildings throughout the rest of the city that you couldn’t help but be drawn to them.
- St Saviour’s is Bruges oldest parish church
Finding where to eat for lunch and dinner was a bit of a challenge. I ended up almost looking around all the streets of Bruges to see all the options available. The hotel gave a suggested list of restaurants and the receptionist advised to stay away from Markt Square and the centre because it was more expensive. I thought okay that makes sense. I looked around the centre saw the average prices were €20 for a main dish or a little higher to two courses.
So I tried a restaurant on the suggested list closer to the hotel. The prices were no cheaper! To be honest everywhere was around the same price. The fish pie I had on the first night was lovely though. I went to Ellis Gourmet Burger on night two for a special edition burger, very nice. For lunch, on day one I went to Le Pain Quotidien for scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, mega thumbs up but don’t ask me to say the name of the place!
I’ll hold my hands up to admit that I did go to McDonald’s for lunch twice, but it was only because I was running out my money so I had to do it. I am one of these people that still exchange money so I don’t excessively use my card. I was determined to survive on my €200.
Sunset in Bruges
This is my favourite photo from Bruges. On the last night, I sat at the top of the grandstand that had been built in Markt Square with the low light shining on the Belfry Tower. I just chilled there for a few minutes taking this wonderful site in.
If you have ever been to Bruges let me know what your highlights were?
No need for postcards, feel free to leave a comment…