A May 2000 trip
to Bruges by Re Carroll
Quote: This little town is an hour away from Brussels by train but centuries away in atmosphere.It is one of Belgium's most visited towns but even crowded with tourists, it's a destination not to be missed.
Hotel | "Adele's B&B"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 28, 2000
32 50 673716
Restaurant | "Passage Restaurant"
I came for a late dinner and there was a warm and cozy feel to the place - candles flickering on the tables, old pictures and antiques decorating the walls and lively conversation happening throughout the restaurant. My waitress was very friendly and I was lucky enough to get a table at the window so I could watch the people strolling along Dweerstraat as I waited for my meal.
The menu featured Belgian specialties like steamed mussels in a wine and garlic broth and waterzooi, a type of stew made with either rabbit or chicken. I opted for the chicken version and it was a good choice - tender chunks of chicken, small new potatoes and pieces of carrots and leeks in cream. It was accompanied by a basket of thick, dark rye bread and made a very filling, delicious and cheap meal since the cost was under $10.00.
The people beside me had steak tartar and said it was well seasoned with lots of ground pepper. Portions were average in size but everything was well prepared and a basket of bread accompanied each meal.
As well as individual tables, there is a long wooden bar and peole can drop in just for a drink or two. I don't remember a large selection of wine but since beer is Belgium's passion, there was an extensive selection to choose from. Those who stay at the hostel get their first beer free.
There was an interesting mix of diners - younger people, many of whom were staying at the hostel but also other tourists and some locals who just came in for dinner or a drink.
Dweerstraat is located between Noordzandstraat and Zuidzandstraat, about a 10 minute walk from the Markt.
Gran Kaffee de Passage
Bruges, Belgium 8000
32 50 340232
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 28, 2000
Verdi Tea Room
Church of our Lady
Attraction | "Walking Tours"
Near Kruispoort is a park with four stilt windmills. The oldest dates to 1770 and you can climb the wooden steps for a tour inside. The park also has green benches with iron supports that are shaped like curved dragons. The walking/cycling path that follows the winding canal is popular with joggers.
If you want to stay away from the heavily touristed areas, walk up Langestraat from Kruispoort. Along the way, you'll pass small shops, pubs and a grocery store that caters to local people so the prices are more reasonable than in the main tourist areas. The grocery store is a great place to pick up the makings of a picnic and there are good buys on souvenirs for home like beer, wine and food items. You can buy good pre packaged Belgian chocolates but they don't compare to the hand made ones found in the many chocolatiers around Bruges.
I stopped at a small restaurant on Langestraat that reminded me of the take-away shops in Britain. Almost everything on the menu was battered and deep fried including a wide variety of croquettes (fish, chicken, beef, vegetables and other things that I couldn't quite distinguish). This is not a place for those who are health conscious but it can be quite a dining adventure.
Continue up Langestraat to Hoogstraat and you'll be back at the main squares of Markt and Burg in the middle of old Bruges.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 28, 2001
Downtown Bruges Walking Tours
Attraction | "Bruges by Boat"
To get to the boat, you walk down a flight of stone stairs to where a number of large, open boats are lined up. Each boat seats 30-40 people and during the busy tourist season, they are always full. The guides speak a number of different languages and point out many of Bruge's historic buildings and sights.
One of the major points of interest is the Old St. John's Hospital, parts of which date from the 13th century. Part of the building juts out over the waterand these sections were known as plague houses because it is where the wealthy people were quarantined. The many angles and sections of the hospital make for a great photo opportunity. The building is now a museum and also houses work by the painter Hans Memling.
We passed by the Church of Our Lady where Michaelangelo's "Madonna and Child" is housed. The church tower is approximately 400 feet high but seen from the water, it appeared much higher.
The boat wandered along many canals and under stone bridges, one of which was so low that we all had to duck to avoid getting our head bumped.
The tour runs daily from 10 am until 6 pm, lasts about 1/2 hour and the price is 190BF per person.
This was a very relaxing way to see Brauges and it was easy to imagine myself back in time when boats were the main mode of transportation here.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2001
Canal Boat Tours
Abbotsford, British Columbia