Bruges Journals

Bruges is beautiful

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An October 2001 trip to Bruges by travelprone

Fall Colors Photo, Bruges, Belgium More Photos
Quote: A step back into many times past,tourist-crowded but tourist-friendly Bruges was a low-key interlude from the big cities of Paris and London. Food and drink were superior and budget-priced - love those frites! The locals were welcomers and rescuers and I love their city! Bruges has the best of the "new" and "old" worlds;its beauty is that of both Nature and Man preserved for our delight.

Bruges is beautiful

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Overview

Fall Colors Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
The Groeningen Museum is for lovers of 15th to 17th century realist painters and the English audio-guide is helpful, not intrusive. The Gruitthaus Museum shows how the wealthy lived in the late medieval heyday of Bruges. The Burg and Markt illuminated at night are splendid. AND THE OMNIPRESENCE OF CANALS AND GREENERY CAST ROMANTIC AURA over a real place of really hard-working people like our host who runs a restaurant and rents rooms and apartments. The beer is fantastic, I'm told ,(I don't drink alcohol)but I know the waffles with cream and the chocolates are, too. As a footnote, I just recently learned the the city motto is "Beautiful Bruges",adopted because the city fathers ...Read More

Lokkedize

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Hotel

Lokkedize Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
A good-sized room with two twins side by side and a bath with shower cabin was off a hall and facing a small inner outside patio. A small TV with CNN and BBC informed us the world was still a mess of wars and disputes. Location was near the 3 main squares - Burg, Markt, and t'Zand - but far enough to be quiet for sleep. Our host answered questions cheerfully and left us on our own otherwise. The room also had twin bunk beds so normally would accomodate 4 persons. One night we had a problem with mosquitoes although there was repellent in the room - the downside of many canals is they are perfect breeding grounds for the varmints. No breakfast, but many cafes including the Sandpiper are only steps away....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2001

Lokkedize
Korte Vuilderstraat 16
Bruges, Belgium

Het Bargehuis

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Restaurant

Het Bargehuis Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
The section of this large restaurant called De Berenpub which is decorated with lots of bears(bears & beers,anyone?)is great for a quick snack after one's strolling through the Minnewater. Through sliding glass doors one can exit to a patio with tables for eating in warm weather & directly ahead of this area is a playground,the Belgian version of those provided at Mc Donald's or Burger King here in the states.When we were having a mid-afternoon snack & drinks there,3 contented children were using the slide & the swings,while their mother watched as she ate inside. Our young waitress told us what "Kip" was when we saw it on the menu ;their speciality,"Kip ain't spit," which we should h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Het Bargehuis
Bargeweg 2 de Katelijne Port
Bruges, Belgium
050/33 26 04

the Sandpiper

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Restaurant

the Sandpiper Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Thirsting for a wake-me-up cup of coffee, we headed out of the Lokkedize,walked up the block and turned the corner to see a sign of a sandpiper at a local bar-restaurant. We ordered 2 black coffees and were pleasantly surprised when it arrived served with a very good-tasting cookie that the Brits would call a biscuit. It was softer than a cookie and had a consistency like a brownie. When the bill arrived, it was so cheap we made a mental note to try this place for dinner as this was our last night in Bruges and we had an early wake-up to catch the train to Oostende. Dinner was superb. Nevertheless, my husband looked longingly at the table next to us when a British couple and their two sons dug into...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 6, 2001

the Sandpiper
't Zand 33
Bruges, Belgium
32 50 341346

St.-Amandskelder

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Restaurant

St.-Amandskelder Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
On a street just south-west of the Markt, we "shopped" for a restaurant, bypassing the take-away Pasta Presto & De Lange Chinese. We were in the mood for something classier and we found it -another cellar restaurant similar to the JB Club in Prague. This restaurant consists of 2 rooms , both from the 16th century, one of which was a nuns' cellar. With arched ceilings, stone walls and soft lighting, the over-all effect is romantic. When we arrived, earlier than most as usual, the cook and waitperson were playing Scrabble, my eagle-eyed son noticed. During the course of our leisurely dinner, couples drifted in , and,when we left, the place was about half-full. The venison was especially good wi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 28, 2002

St.-Amandskelder
St. Amandstraat 11
Bruges, Belgium
050/33 99 75

Groeninge Museum

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Attraction | "Groeningen Museum"

Groeninge Museum Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Marvellous museum with superb audio-guide included with admission price. Basically features artists who worked in Bruges from 14th century to present, but the glories are to be found in the religious but humanly realistic works of the Flemish primitives. My favorite was Jan van Eyck's "Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele," an early 15th century triptych that shows the comissioner of the work, Van der Paele, complete with furrows and wrinkles, his spectacles at the ready over his book. As he gazes at the Madonna, flanked by St. George, his patron saint, and St. Donation, he is realized in his somewhat abundant flesh. Here, the two phase guide really helped; after listening to the ge...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 11, 2002

Groeninge Museum
Djiver 12
Bruges, Belgium

Hossein Socotti Arts & Antiques

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Attraction | "Hossein Socotti"

Hossein Socotti Arts & Antiques Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Usually,we buy a poster that evokes the essence of a place that we especially enjoyed, and,upon returning home,spend $200.00-$300.00 to have the poster framed. This time, in Bruges, for $400.00 + $70.00 for shipping,we purchased two beautiful watercolors,framed very suitably to enhance the winter and summer scenes depicted in each. The horizontally oriented winter scene, signed by Mr. Socotti,who was painting at his site outdoors when we happened upon him,focuses on a bridge over frozen canal surrounded by snowy trees and roofs-framed in a simple but elegant dark-grey metal bordering frame. This winter scene contrasts with the vertically-oriented summer scene which depicts a typical narrow stree...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 11, 2002

Hossein Socotti Arts & Antiques
E-mail: hossein.socotti@pandora.be
Bruges, Belgium

Gruuthuse

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Attraction

Gruuthuse Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
This museum brings to life the historical 15-17th centuries in which the tiny Lowland countries flourished and a class of wealthy merchants enjoyed luxuries such as tapestries to warm their cold walls, musical instruments to help them while away leisure hours, porcelain dishes to dine from, and paintings to embellish their homes.The house itself is impressive in its exterior, set back, with courtyard, from the street which must have been bustling then with trading activity that may have rivalled the burgeoning tourist activity now. Some telltale signs of age (missing cornices, weathered mullions, etc.) in the exterior suggest ongoing need for restoration but the interior shows much evidence of rest...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2002

Gruuthuse
Dijver 17
Bruges, Belgium

Lokkedize

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Attraction

Lokkedize Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
After dinner(early because we hadn't had time for lunch on our train trips to Bruges from Paris),we stopped for a nightcap at our accommodation host's bar. As it was the prime eating hour, this was a bit ill-advised, as the place was crowded, mainly by groups of young people,all eager for some home-like food and lots of superb Belgian beer.People were waiting for tables. You could see, however, that the bar was well-stocked and the cozy, brick-walled interior was conducive to intimate after-hours gatherings over a few good brews. On the website click here there are five pictures that accurately depict the warm atmosphere and show that sometimes live bands pe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2002

Lokkedize
Korte Vuilderstraat 33
Bruges, Belgium

Church of our Lady

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Attraction | "Madonna in Church of Our Lady"

Church of our Lady Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Michelangelo! Michelangelo! Would you believe my son saw several groups of tourists wandering about aimlessly in this once resplendent church and they totally bypassed its most overwhelming Madonna and Child by Michelangelo? A mere glance to the front right side altar,in its center,surrounded by other statues that absolutely pale by comparison, transports you to this gorgeous,gleaming, intensely realistic sight. The marble speaks; the face of the Virgin is so complex with emotion, but simply human in its visage. One must really see this statue to appreciate it fully. Photos fail to capture its extraordinary marble. Its haunting effect is difficult to describe; its memory will linger on and on. Se...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 8, 2002

Church of our Lady
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof Zuid
Bruges, Belgium
050/34-53-14

Experience teaches

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Story/Tip

The Minnewater -a place of trees & tranquillity Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Since one of the most frustrating tendencies of the human mind is to forget data like the exact location of a surprisingly good restaurant or an odd sight that just seemed for the moment to capture the essence of a place one is a traveller in,I have resolved to pack a small(everything weighs at the check-in,especially for intra-European flights),but practical Journal book so I don't stutter when I start to write about my travel experiences. This is the procedure I most wish I'd followed on our European trip. Bruges was the most satisfying place I visited on my last European trip because people were so hospitable,the food was excitingly different,and the whole atmosphere was an historical reminder ...Read More

The Coffee Link (Internet Cafe)

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Story/Tip

The Coffee  Link next to the Memling Museum Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Bruges may strike most visitors as a medieval theme park, but all the "mod" conveniences are available at The Coffee Link, a wood-floored & panelled cafe at Mariastraat 38 in the complex known as Old St. John's where the old hospital of that name was until it became a museum. This complex also includes the Memling Museum which was closed when we visited but due to re-open after extensive renovation in time for Bruges's big year-2002. One of the nicest internet cafes we visited on our trip,this spacious cafe has 18 ASL speed with LCD screens at a cost of 1.24 euros for the first 15 minutes,& then .07 euros per minute thereafter.Away from the front circle of computers, in the back of the cafe...Read More