Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DATELINE: Bruges (3)

Yesterday was pretty much a total loss.  I am doing serious battle with a cold ~ I am NOT going to let the germs win.  Although we did go out to do some shopping, I didn't take the camera.  I was just not feeling too hot.  But first, here's a quick look at our digs.

our street

living room

from the dining room

to the dining room


master bedroom

guest bedroom looking out into garden
This is a very old house with high ceilings, insufficient heat but when it's out, the sun pours into the living room in the morning and warms it up.  The bed is comfortable and warm (we've piled every blanket in the place on top!).  It's on the 1st floor (US 2nd) with a hairpin turn staircase.  Views are mostly of rooftops which are slate or brick.  Lots of ornate roof lines.  Streets are cobbled and hard to walk on; sidewalks narrow.  The biggest traffic hazard is bicycles.  They are everywhere, going any direction at any time regardless of signage.  Riders simply assume the right-of-way and give you a fierce scowl should you even dare to step in the road anywhere near them.  Bicycles are to Bruges as Vespas are to Florence and motor scooters and motor cycles are to Paris.  But the layout of the city and the flat terrain are perfect for them.

I am feeling somewhat better today although still sneezing and stuffed up.  I went out this morning to explore the weekly market that's set up in the town's central square known as "Markt Square" .  We've walked through it several times; magnificent buildings ring it, along with lots of cafés and souvenir shops.  But this morning it was crammed with vendors of prepared food, flowers, plants, fresh fruits and vegetables and garden tools ~ seeds, tools, bulbs, etc.  It was impossible to take pictures of the buildings; I'll have to do that tomorrow.  But here are some pictures from the market.

vegetables are displayed in big boxes lined up against the back wall

gorgeous little strawberries

I bought some of these clementines for the road

Some random street scenes

wonderfully ornate fronts and roof lines

Horse carriage is a popular way to see the town.  How to keep the droppings off the street?  They have a sort of poop-catcher rigged to the tail end of the horse.  Quite ingenious!

window boxes on our street
We had hoped to stay on for a few more days but our apartment is already rented so we must indeed pack up and train up to Lille.  Mr. C hiked over to the train station this morning to get tickets only to discover that the train we had planned on taking will be subjected to a diversion requiring a transfer somewhere along the way to a bus.  With our luggage, no thanks.  So we are taking a later train that gets us into Lille almost at dusk and we have decided we don't want to start a driving trip at that time of day.  So it was onto the internet to find a hotel for the night and to change car reservations.  God bless the internet!  It was easy; three-star "aparthotel" very near the train station, excellent reviews, not expensive, and they had room!  We'll pick up the car on Saturday morning and head off on yet another adventure.

Tomorrow I will go out again and get some good pictures of the Markt Square; you shouldn't miss seeing it.  And if the weather holds, a canal trip.  Of course, on Friday we have to be out of the apartment by 10:30 (but can leave our luggage here) and will have 4 hours to kill before we head for the train station.  If not tomorrow on the canal, perhaps Friday.

One more thing about Bruges.  It is amazingly clean.  (See note about horse manure above.)  Each evening, tidy bags of garbage are lined up along house fronts and, in the morning, they're all gone.  Sidewalks are free of any refuse ~ paper, cigarette butts, bottles or cans. And although there are lots of dogs, no dog droppings anywhere.  There is a stereotype about the Dutch, that they are always scrubbing something and as a consequence their homes and streets and towns are very clean.  There's a lot to that.  After Paris, it's a welcome state of affairs.


Anonymous said...

Liz says:

Bunz-- do NOT miss dining at the Duc du Bourgoine!!! Reservations a good idea... Absolutely gorgeous food and flawless service. This was a recommendation of the Platts, and a super one. I went there alone, and was treated like the Queen of Sheba!

The canal cruise is nice, but far nicer is the long canal cruise out a ways to a cute little village, if you get this in time. (I think I gave you this info in an email eons ago...) There is also a gem of a Flemish painting museum I thoroughly enjoyed...

Anonymous said...

Liz says:

I just got caught up on your blog after being gone a week. Just loved all the pix & prose!

I was in Palm Springs for the wedding of my niece and reunion with all of my brothers/wives & Bruce & family. (Darling, wonderful GRANDCHILDREN, a real treat!!!) All went VERY well with the latter, and the wedding festivities were magical and amazing. (The father of the bride, my brother Dan, was a wreck--bawled copiously all the way down the aisle. Actually, we all cried, it was so lovely.) LOVE LOVE LOVE Palm Springs, and really looking forward to my 6 weeks there from mid-Jan. thru Feb.

Now getting ready for hip surgery Nov. 5. Then, 6 weeks of therapy, and I'm a new woman (again). My brother Tom is coming here to help me the first week after surgery. Sooooo nice of him!

mary ann said...

Sorry about your cold ~ hope it is just a memory tomorrow. I love your apartment and the streets and architecture. Congrats on being such great travelers and yes, bless the internet! Oh, SF is getting bike infested too...entitled to it ALL.

ddmichel said...

I love you photos and your adorable rental! Having so much fun with you on your trip!! xxoo