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