Sunday, September 14, 2014

In Bruges

After biking around for the first part of the day, we hopped off to stretch our legs and walk around town. 

A medieval looking bank building that has something to do with the stock market or something or other.

We did a free walking tour around the city which lasted around 2 hours and was a good way to waste time. If you have seen the movie In Bruges then you have basically experienced our walking tour as well. It was surprising how much of the tour was based off the movie.

Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck in his dedicated square and our "In-training" tour guide. He was from California and had just arrived a few days ago, he needed some work, no offense. Our real tour guide was an Australian girl with character, she was great, needless to say we gave her a nice tip!

One of Bruges' oldest building when it used to be a thriving medieval port town.

A building made to look medieval but really wasn't, someone just recently had it built in that fashion.

The beautiful Koningin Astrid park! 

Bust of Queen Astrid she is like the Princess Diana for Belgian people. 

This beautiful scene (as seen In Bruges)

The Church of Christ's Blood, who claim to have a vial of his actual blood. It's only on display for a couple of hours everyday. I believe 9am-12pm and then again from 2pm-4pm but I am not 100% sure. We kept walking but made plans to go back the next day to see the blessed vial.

In Medieval Bruges the higher the gables the richer you were. The stair like roofs were originally created to make life easier for the hard working chimney sweeps (think Mary Poppins).

We finished our walking tour here and headed back towards the center of town. Our tour guide Philipa (spelling?) told us about a magical little place hidden in the middle of town. The bar is called De Garre and they serve the Tripel De Garre, a beer that has a whopping 12% alcohol content.

A little Christmas in July, and up the far away steps Heaven for beer lovers.
We order the half glasses just to try. I am not a big beer fan so I did not enjoy. The flavor was the same as any other beer, nothing exotic.
Be careful, this beer will sneak up on you. The bartenders will only serve you a total of 3 full garre cups and then you are cut off!

We grabbed some Belgian chocolate (its the best kind of chocolate in my book) on the way back to our bikes and road back to the hostel. We were exhausted and quite anxious for our next few days so we drifted off to sleep.

The next morning we woke up early, had a quick breakfast, checked out of our hostel and stored our bags In the luggage room. We had one more thing left to do before our time in Bruges came to an end. We went back to the Church of Christ's Blood to see the vial.

It is guarded by a little man and is encased in a glass box which you can touch. It looked different than I expected. Not blood red, it was a sort of yellowish pink color and it was totally congealed, no longer a liquid, proving it was very old.

It seemed disrespectful to take a picture of the actual vial but basically this was how it was displayed.

It is hard to say if it really is the real deal but I don't know anywhere else in the world claiming to have anything like it. 

After that there wasn't much left to do so went back to get our bags and got on a train to Brussels and then onto another train headed for Amsterdam. In a few days I would be spending my birthday in Amsterdam. I'm sure you can imagine I was pretty excited. 

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