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  • Damme

    September 1, 2012

    On our second day in Bruges we rented a bicycle and took a scenic tour of the city and then road along the canal to the small town of Damme.  In the 13th century, Damme was the port for Bruges and linked by the river Reie. Now the river has been canalized into the long, straight, treelined and picturesque Damse Vaart.

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  • Bruges

    August 26, 2012


    After a day and a half in the big city of Brussels we got on a train and headed to Bruges.  Bruges has beautiful canals, great architecture, and idealic cafes.  If you’re wondering about the spelling of the town, it’s Bruges in French and English, and Brugge in Flemish.

    After getting off our train into Bruges we jumped onto a bus to Bruges’ Market Square, the heart of the city.  In the square is the bell tower, which has been there since 1300.  We climbed the 366 steps of the tower to get a sense of the town.  In front of the bell tower sits two french-fry stands and as you might guess french fries are big in Belgium as well.


    During our tour of the town we visited the Basilica of the Holy Blood which is famous for its relic of the blood of Christ, which, according to tradition, was brought to Bruges in 1150 after the Second Crusade.

    We also went to the City Hall and the Church of Our Lady.  In this beautiful church there is a statue of  Madonna and Child by Michelangelo but to our dismay, this section of the church has been sectioned off and costs what at the time seemed like an unreasonable amount of money just to see the statue.

    Kate and I spent two days exploring this beautiful little town.  Some highlights of our time in Bruges included the food and beverages of course.  Chocolate.  There are small chocolate shops all over this quant town where you can get an  assortment of Bruges’ best pralines which are filled chocolates. We toured a chocolate museum where we learned the history of chocolate and how it’s made in Belgium today.

    Waffles are maybe one of the best things I found in Belgium and nothing like the breakfast food you get in the states.  It’s eaten as a dessert or afternoon snack, alone or with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  Belgium is also known for it’s mussels and fries and of course, we had to have some!

    Bruges is one of those towns that missed the 21st-century bus and is full of Old World charm.  And the reason why I loved this town so much!


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  • Brussels

    August 20, 2012

    While in France this summer one of my good friends and co-worker, Kate was able to visit and do all of the wonderful touristy things with me while Dusty worked.  Kate and I took a trip to Belgium and visited two of it’s major cities, Brussels and Bruges.  We met in Brussels and then made our way to Bruges after a day and a half of sightseeing.

    Brussels was most definitely the big city.  The city is the capital of Belgium and the European Union.  The city’s main square is called La Grand Place and is the heart of the old town.  The main square is where we spent most of our time.  We toured the Museum of Modern Art and the Magritte Museum, honoring the Surrealist painter René Magritte.

    One fun fact is that Brussels has one of the most interesting mascots. Its mascot is the Manneken-Pis, a statue/fountain of a little boy who looks like he’s peeing.  Of course, we made sure to find time to have a few glasses of Belgium’s beer and eat lots of chocolate.  I did try a few “real” beers but tended to choose the cherry-flavored Kriek and strawberry-flavored Frambozen as my beer of choice.  Both are well huge in Belgium.  There are hundreds of different kinds of Belgium beers as well as chocolate.

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