Thursday, May 3, 2012

ghent & bruges.

We've been hopping around Belgium for the past week, getting to know Davy's homeland  & visiting several cities across the country by train. Here's a look at Ghent & Bruges, where we spent the most time.

Ghent, Belgium
- small & cozy
- filled with bicyclists & cobble stone streets
- full of incredible buildings from the 1300s
- walk-able
- not-too-touristy
- home to “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”, an incredible painting from the 15th century by the Flemish Van Eyck brothers. Fun fact: it’s the most frequently stolen painting in history, stolen 13 times over 6 centuries.  There is a very cool (and not too long) NPR article about it here.
- lastly, it’s built along the water, which I love!

a little ghent bridge.

st. bavo cathedral and the eventide waterway.

ghent by day, atop the middle ages Gravensteen castle.

Davy sent us to his favorite ghent pub to try out the local brews.

ghent by night!

en route to bruges!

. . . 

Bruges, Belgium
- around since the 1100s (!!!)
- bigger than Ghent & also built along the water
- more than 50 bridges along the canal
- home to a 200+ year old brewery
- very touristy
- has really delicious waffles

In Bruges, you can take a "boot trip" and ride a little boat through the canal to view the city from the water. We did this our first day there because a) it's really a great (and lazy) way to see the city and b) it's called a "boot trip" and that just cracks me up. 

we asked a girl to please take our picture. we posed for about 45 seconds as
she held the camera upside down. not the ideal recipe for a good picture. she only
took ONE the whole time she was holding it. here it is. don't we seem uncomfortable?

We also took the brewery tour as it had rave reviews on trip advisor. It was money well spent & we particularly liked seeing all the old machinery & glassware from the days of old. At the end, we ended up on the top of the building which offered a great view of the city...

We also visited the Bruges flea market while the weather was pleasant. Belgium has been quite the rainy land and we cheered at the sight of blue sky.

ah yes, the waffles.

. . .

Belgium really is a cool country, filled with medieval wonders, incredible chocolate, 
pretty countryside, & very chic modern design. We're happy to be here!

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