Saturday, July 3, 2010

Brussels and Bruges

07/03 Brussels Day 3: Day trip to Bruges

I got up this morning and caught the train to Bruges with a guy who was in my hostel. A lot of other backpackers talked about how cool the city was, I had an extra day on my train ticket, so I decided to go.

When we arrived, Joel and I found his hostel and had a traditional Belgian morning strawberry beer. It was pretty good.

We then walked to the main square in Bruges and visited Our Lady Church to see Michelangelo’s Lady Madonna.

On our way, we walked through a park and saw some old castles.

After the church, we headed to the Groening Museum and bumped into my Canadian friends I met at the festival in Brussels. We had intended on all going together but somehow missed each other at the train station. It was by luck that we found each other. The Groeninge Museum was great. My favorites were Peter Pourbus and Gerrard David.

When we came out of the museum, it was raining some so we hurried to the next museum- Salvadore Dali. The Dali museum was small, but really cool. His art is very symbolic. It was also very sexual and mildly disturbing.

Joel, went back to his hostel after the Dali museum, and the Canadians and I went to the half moon brewery where we got tickets for a tour. It was an hour long tour where they took us around the facilities of an actual old brewery in downtown Bruges.

The best part, however was the view from the top of the brewery over all of Bruges.

We went back by the market square to grab a bite before heading to the train station. My classic food ordering got me fries with mayo. Its actually a Bruges delicacy.

I got back to Brussels in time to see Spain win their soccer match. This is the view out of my hostel window.

07/02 Brussels Day 2

I got in to the Medieval festival last night. It was called the Ommegang and they’ve been doing it here since the 1500s. There were horses, singers, and dancers. Everyone was dressed in historic clothing. The finale was a battle on stilts. It was really fun to watch.

I met two Canadians and we walked to the delirium pub after. The pub holds the record for the most beers on tap. Its also the brewery where they make delirium tremens- my personal favorite beer.

I spent the morning doing laundry. It was surprisingly not too expensive- around 6 euro to wash and dry everything.

In the afternoon, I walked downtown passed the cathedral to the museum district. I first visited the museum of Rene Magritte. It was amazingly bizarre. I was a little disturbed by some of it at first. It definitely took some getting used to. My favorites were Ignorant Fairy, Domain of Amheim, and the Empire of Lights.
Next, I went to the museum of Brussels where they had Peter Bruegel’s art. I really enjoyed that as well.

After the museums I walked down Place de L’Albertine. It was a pleasant garden with fountains.

I continued down the road passed the Belgian landmark mannequin-pis. Its actually pretty unimpressive.

As I continued my walk, I met a French Canadian guy who was biking across Europe by himself. We stopped and ate together. It helped that he could speak French to the waiters.

I went by St. Katelijne cathedral. It was big but not very pretty. From there, I took a lift to the top of a parking garage someone had recommended where I could get a view of the entire city of Brussels. It was actually pretty awesome. After that, I returned to the hostel for a break.

I went out to a famous soccer bar called Celtica. I was kinda bored with the bar so I left and went back to delirium to hang out with backpackers. After there I went to find a Belgian waffle. It wasn’t hard. I ended sharing a table with three girls from Michigan who were studying in France. Then I called it a night.

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