Beer, bikes, boats …… and Belgian chocolate!

DIMG_3518riving leisurely for 3 hours through interesting rural French villages on smaller roads we passed the “Belgie” sign!

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Following signs to Brugge, we soon arrive at “Camping Memling” – 2 kms from the centre of the old town. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as “The Venice of the North”. Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port. At one time, before 1500, it was considered the “chief commercial city” of the world.

IMG_4604Bruce is resting comfortably on a green grassy site surrounded by tall trees and listening to the chirping of birds – and some interesting travelers!

 

 

 

Shortly after arriving at Brugge, friends Mark & Marie Christine pick us up and spoil us with an exceptional dinner at their favorite local restaurant. They are celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary with us too!

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We camped next to them in Paris last year and they had inspired us to visit Brugge & Belgium. Being residents and also both born in Brugge they made the perfect tour guides with many interesting local knowledge facts – with their obvious passion and love of their home town!!

This fairy-tale, medieval tow was largely unscathed during both world wars. Picturesque cobbled lanes and dreamy canals link market squares lined with soaring towers.IMG_3676 IMG_3707 IMG_3705 IMG_3663 IMG_3580IMG_4603

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BikesIMG_3711 abound here with excellent signed paths and lanes everywhere! Very few cars enter the city centre.

Old-town Brugge is encased by an oval shaped moat the follows the city’s medieval fortifications. The walls are gone, but 4 of the 9th-14th Century gates still stand.

IMG_3755Dominating the centre is the giant Belltower or Belfont. The 47 bell carillon is still played manually on certain days.IMG_4600

Our tour includes a lunch in the oldest cafe.IMG_3737IMG_3682Operating as a cafe since the year 1515!! Celebrated 500 years this year!! The Brugge Zot bier, quenched our thirst and the boys went a little crazy.

 

 

 

It was so peaceful on our picturesque canal cruise passing medieval house fronts.IMG_3587 IMG_3604 IMG_3675IMG_3557IMG_3747IMG_3764IMG_3743IMG_3750IMG_3755IMG_3764IMG_3738IMG_3729IMG_3597IMG_3587

Included in our tour was Basilica of the Holy Blood where in a chapel we saw the vial that supposedly contains Christ’s blood that was brought here in 12th century crusades.In the Church of Our Lady is Michelangelo’s famous Madonna and child statue from 1504!! Very impressive!!IMG_3593

After the IMG_3776historic sites . . . . there is always a cold bier (beer) and of course Belgian Chocolate to tantalise our taste-buds. From the famous Shock-o-lateer (Chocolateer) in Brugge, Dominique Peronne! We bought a small box of delicious but expensive melt-in-the-mouth delights including wildly experimental flavours – black olive & tomato & basil!!IMG_3715

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IMG_3778Speaking of fairy-tale towns we found Jack and the beanstalk!!?!?!

 

 

4 thoughts on “Beer, bikes, boats …… and Belgian chocolate!

    1. Hello Becky,
      That is why they call Dominique the Shock-o-lateer. They tasted great. A photographer from National Geographic was in store taking shots for an upcoming article on Dominique and the store “The Chocolate Line”.
      Have a great day,
      Mark and Bev

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