Monday, July 14, 2008

I’m Moving to Bruges

Day 125
Today was a Monday and I knew from the beginning that most things would be closed. The map I had been given at the hostel was pretty cool. It called itself a travel guide for young people and had a whole bunch of off the beaten path things to check out. I planned on spending the days doing these things and trying my
best to act like a local.

However, first things first. I really needed to get some blog work. I don’t want to let it get too behind because it takes days to catch up on. After about 3 hours my stomach was growling and I knew that it was time to stop and start seeing the city.

For lunch I knew that I needed a local favorite, I was going to get fries! The main square has two shacks that sell fries almost right next to each other. They have been on this location since 1896. Everyone likes to fight about which one is better. This is a bit silly though because every three years they are auctioned off and often change hands. I just decided to pick the shortest line. I had garlic mayo with mine, they were fantastic.

As I was wandering to my next destination I was happy to see that the Bruges Museum was actually opened. This small museum consisted of a big meeting room. Bruges made its money off of trade and banking in the middle ages and this building was meant to show off that wealth. The meeting room had been redone in 1884 to reflect the medieval style. It pictured important events and people in Bruges over the past 1000 years or so. One was the signing of the city charter in 1190, another of Jan van Eych painting in 1433.

The facade of the building was no less spectacular. There were four rows of statures, 49 in all. The statues took centuries to create, mostly due to money. Each statue was about 5’9 and weighed about 100 pounds. They ranged from historically important to saints, and a rather naughty one of Adam and Eve.

My next stop was the Chapel of the Holy Blood. It was quite ornate and people were lining up to touch the container that the blood is said to be in. I didn’t feel a need to do that.

Included in my museum ticket was a room in an adjacent building. This room had been decorated in 1520 and hadn’t really changed. The audio guide was exceedingly detailed. It was older than my country and really amazing.

Next up was a little bar called Garre, which was located in a garre (alley) and served a beer called Garre. This is only served here and was pretty good.

At this point I had to figure out what to do with myself for the evening. After going to the grocery store for dinner food I headed to the movie theater. I planned on seeing In Bruges while in Bruges. It just really seemed fitting. I just didn’t expect the movie to be so violent.

After the movie I made myself some dinner and spent the evening hanging out with some people at the hostel. I tried to go to a bar that my map said had every beer in Belgium, but it was closed.

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