Bonza weekend in Bruges Belgium!
We left Amsterdam and had a great train trip down to Bruges. We saw lots of windmills and miles of greenhouses outside Rotterdam. We had to change trains twice, so we're getting pretty good at train travel now.
Bruges is a pretty city that had it's hey-day in the 13th century as a center of the herring trade. The harbour silted up, and life passed them by. Napolean did try to resurect the granduer, by building the canal we rode by today, but it's taken lots of tourists in the 21st century to bring it back to life.
It reminds us a bit of Maastricht, only bigger. They have canal tours on what was originally the town's moat - they are packed and go right by our B&B. We walked the town after we got in on Saturday and had dinner (mussels) at a lovely spot on the canal. We were tired from Amsterdam and traveling, so we had an early night.
Our room is large with 20ft ceilings, filled with antiques and great beds, which was so welcome after the cramped quarters in Amsterdam. We've stayed in residences built in the 1600s in both places, but we thankfully moved up a few floors in Bruges.
A great breakfast is included in this B&B, so we enjoyed that and then left to hire bikes for the day. We had a great ride around the city and stumbled on some cool stuff. First was a cheese fair at an open square - locals cramming the place tasting 100s of cheeses.
We rode around the outer canal, saw windmills, then headed out of Bruges to a small town called Damme about 6 km away. We had a lovely lunch there - great sandwiches and beer, then checked out a working windmill on the way back. We got covered in flour dust, but it was fun to see.
We had another walk around town after we dropped the bikes off - there are scenic spots everywhere you turn. The old square in the fish market also doubles as a dance space in the evenings - saw more folks doing the tango. Like in Maastricht, everybody seems to take their tango seriously - nobody smiles - but it looks like a lot of fun. More European happy feet.