Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

This is the first year for a while that we’ve been in Perth for Easter. Nearly 5 years ago on Good Friday 2011 we were enjoying a couple of nights break in Bruges, Belgium after visiting our families in the UK.  We had a lovely short break in this beautiful historic town during a particularly warm European spring before heading off to Koblenz on the Rhine and Basel, Switzerland. Belgium has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently and the tragic events this week have affected the lives of so many innocent people. Here are a few photos of happier and peaceful times in a pretty part of the country – a more positive image of Belgium than the one currently being portrayed.

 

Bruges in the spring

Bruges in the spring

 

Bruges, often referred to as  the “Venice Of The North” owing to its myriad of canals and pretty bridges is the capital of the Flemish speaking region of  West Flanders in the North West of the country. The city centre with its old narrow streets and medieval buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is not surprisingly a huge tourist drawcard. We found it busy though not unpleasantly crowded and enjoyed wandering round the pretty old cobbled squares and streets.

 

Bruges is certainly a town of spires – everywhere you look you see one including the famous 13th century belfry tower – perhaps the iconic image of Bruges. We also visited the Parish Church of Our Lady, home to many priceless works of art including the Madonna by Michelangelo.

 

 

Many of the old buildings now house cafes, restaurants and shops. We certainly enjoyed our fair share of Belgian hospitality during our visit including beer (Monsieur Le Chic particularly!), wonderful fish and seafood (you’re close to the North Sea coast) and plenty of samplings of the renowned Belgian chocolates! We were also very taken with the shops selling the famous lace and tapestry work and came home with several tapestry cushion covers, which are still in daily use back home.

 

 

I particularly loved the way the old medieval buildings jostled for space in the crowded old town!

 

Dumon Chocolatiers Bruges

Dumon Chocolatiers Eiermarkt Bruges

 

We were centrally based in a delightful boutique hotel near the town centre, the Tulierieen. This chic and elegant hotel is situated in what was originally a 15th century town house and overlooks the Den Dijver canal just 50 metres walk to the main Market Square. It was also apparently used as the base for actor Colin Farrell during the filming of “In Bruges” (rather a dark comedy thriller and certainly not my cup of tea).

 

 

Of course we did the almost obligatory canal cruises (in fact we did a couple of them). Admittedly they are touristy but you can’t go past a cruise for getting a full perspective of the charming old town and a feel for life in its trading heyday.

 

 

We admired the distinctive oxblood red of some of the old merchants’ houses along the canal and the famous gabled Flemish roofs.

 

 

Bruges is the perfect spot for a long weekend or a short break and one day we may well come back here again. In the meantime wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter holiday!

 

Hot air balloon flying over the old medieval town centre of Bruges at twilight

Hot air balloon flying over the old medieval town centre of Bruges at twilight

Copyright © 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

37 thoughts on “Easter Memories From Bruges

  1. Ah Bruges…such a lovely city. Nice collection of pictures. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Suzanne – yes it’s a lovely place isn’t it? The weather was glorious when we were there – great for taking photos! 🙂

      Like

  2. Gorgeous pictures Rosemary, you’ve captured Bruges perfectly. We love it there too, such a fairtytale place and the food and chocolate are the icing on the cake!! The weather looks amazing too for early spring, we visited in summer and had our share of rainy days but it looks like you had perfect blue skies. Hope you have a lovely Easter in Perth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember your Bruges series Joy – really enjoyed reading it and seeing your lovely photos! Very pleased that you like these photos too – that’s what I was hoping to convey the essence of Bruges and the feeling that you could be there! Yes the weather was amazing that spring – it was April 2011 and I think broke many records for the unprecedented heatwave! When we first got to Bruges I had to go shopping for some summer clothes as I was far too hot in the winter ones I’d brought with me (that’s never happened before or since though!). Have memories of the Zara boutique in Bruges and Monsieur LC waiting patiently near the door hoping we could head off somewhere more interesting as soon as possible! The weather had been warm in the Uk too and didn’t drop to more typical temperatures until we got into Switzerland when I was once more all rugged up in coats and scarves. Hope you have a very enjoyable Easter too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Bruges! I visited in winter when it held the super charming Christmas markets, but meant I couldn’t take a canal cruise…guess I’ll just have to go back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruges must have been picturesque in winter Becky!I have had the Christmas markets in Europe on my wish list for ages but we don’t usually come over to Europe in the winter months – prefer it when it’s getting a bit warmer! The Christmas markets in Bruges must have been enchanting 🙂 However yes you’ll have to go back for a canal cruise – it’s such a great way to see the town and the old buildings we loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely recommend the markets in winter, Germany in particular is a personal favourite 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes I’d love to go one year! Plenty of gluehwein should help with the cold winter weather!

          Like

  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    We were there at this time two years ago and also had amazing weather – I have a similar picture of me sitting outside a cafe in a t-shirt. We loved it – and I also loved the film In Bruges, despite it not being my normal thing either. I’d seen it before we went, then we watched it together after we came back and it was fun spotting the locations (and where they’d taken liberties with them). And the Bruges dog was in it, did you see him? He looks out of a window onto the canal, he was in the film and I googled home afterwards and there are loads of pictures of him. Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a feeling we did see the dog Anabel but I didn’t realise the significance with the film – seem to remember him being pointed out by the boat driver. I looked him up online and very sadly he passed away in January this year 😦 He was nearly 13 – the end of an era. Glad to share the memories – Bruges was such a lovely place 🙂

      Like

      1. Anabel Marsh says:

        Oh no! He must have been quite elderly already when we saw him then.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was very sad to read about it apparently he was nearly 13 and his owner had to make the difficult decision to have him put to sleep as he had developed a serious illness. She says she won’t get another dog as he is irreplaceable – he was such a wonderful looking dog!

          Like

          1. Anabel Marsh says:

            Sad. He was beautiful.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes apparently his owner had a bed and breakfast place and tourists came there just to see him – he’ll be greatly missed.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. RuthsArc says:

    A lovely post about a lovely place. Enjoy the long Easter weekend at home this year Rosemary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ruth! It seemed a good point to write about Bruges – we had a lovely time there 🙂 Have a wonderful Easter too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. KerryCan says:

    I’d love to visit Belgium, and Bruges, some day. My cousin has spent time there and loves it and your photos also make it look so appealing! SO hard to think about what this country is dealing with now, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruges is a charming place Kerry and we really enjoyed our visit there. Only briefly passed through Brussels though both daughters have stayed there. It’s horrible what they must be going through – Brussels always looks such a pretty place to me but recent events must be effecting the poor people there so much. I’d certainly like to go back to Bruges again some day!

      Like

  7. kayrpea61 says:

    I loved the story on the canal cruise, as we passed the brewery. The claim was that the very canal water was used for brewing their beer – “but only for export”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder what the beer tasted like?!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lifeofryrie says:

    Bruges looks delightful, it’s now on The List. Hope you had a lovely Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruges is lovely and very doable for a long weekend from the Uk or rest of Europe 🙂 Thanks we had a lovely Easter – it’s autumn here with the reverse seasons but I love this time of year when the weather starts to cool down! Hope you had a lovely Easter too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful pics we haven’t been there for years now but this certainly brought back some happy memories – just lovely thanks ☀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – am so glad these photos brought back happy memories of your trips there 🙂 Love Bruges and hopefully we’ll go back there at some point! 🙂

      Like

  10. Lucy says:

    Bruges is such a wonderful city! I love the historical buildings and the atmosphere overall. Lovely pictures!!! Thank you for taking me back there 🙂 Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome Lucy! Yes the buildings are wonderful but the atmosphere of Bruges is lovely too as you say. Glad to bring back some happy memories! Have a great week too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. lclalor says:

    We’re going to Bruges next month so the timing of this post was perfect for me. I even checked your hotel but it was full on our nights. Thanks for a wonderful introduction. Any other advice would be welcome as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear! Sorry you can’t get into the Tuilerieen though it was wonderful! Bruges is really easy to get around so just wandering round soaking up the atmosphere is lovely – so many cafes, restaurants and little shops not to mention all the quaint buildings, squares and streets. I’d definitely do a canal trip too. We also took a train out to Knokke on the North Sea Coast – we had a very pleasant lunch there though the beach certainly wasn’t like Australian ones but it was a pretty place and something a bit different to do if you have time. Have a fabulous trip! 🙂

      Like

      1. lclalor says:

        Bruges is a side trip from a cruise out of Rotterdam to Portugal, Spain, and Gibraltar. Last time we were in Belgium we missed it so I feel compelled to pick it up this year. It’s been one of those travel regrets that I can finally rectify! Thanks for the tips.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re very welcome! Your trip sounds wonderful – have a fabulous time! 😃

          Like

  12. restlessjo says:

    You’re right! These are much nicer images to share than current news footage. Sad old times we live in, but I like to remember the good things, too. I have only a few very dull photos from our visit in freezing fog, many Novembers ago. Good job you’re not coming then, Rosemay! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Freezing fog certainly doesn’t sound much fun Jo though the bars and cafes in Bruges would be most welcome on days like that! Yes there’s so much negative news around so hopefully this redresses the balance a little as we liked Bruges very much when we went there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You had a perfect weather for visiting this lovely city! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we were incredibly fortunate with the weather – it was an especially warm spring and the city looked gorgeous in the sun! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Bruges! What a beautiful city. I didn´t know it is part of Unesco world heritage. But of course it is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the old town is lovely Johanna – Bruges was a delightful spot so much history and charm! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: