All of Brugge is a Museum

Early this morning we were surprised to discover the temperature was going to not go above 75 degrees all day. We are so thankful for this because in July this part of Europe suffered from a brutal record breaking heat wave.

The buffet breakfast prepared for us was like one you would find at an exclusive hotel. Fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee was served to us outside where lazy ducks swam in the canal. There was a fresh fruit salad, fresh baked breads right out of the oven, and crispy croissants along with cheeses and meats.

We walked to the Market Square where we were treated to a carillon concert. Some of the songs were show tunes so it was really nice. We discovered some Tintin shops. My sister Jane loves Tintin and I love how I can send her instant photos from my phone to her on FB.

We bought the Brugge Museum card and visited three today. The first one was Groningen Museum. It has a large collection of Flemish art and art known as primitives which show the world in a lot of detail. Some of the paintings are brilliantly restored with bright rose and gold oils. They are joyful and pleasing to the eye. Other paintings showed grim scenes with death and destruction caused by the devil to all sinners.

Our next Museum was Gruuthusemuseum. Here you can journey through rooms showing the history of Brugge. It’s in a beautiful palace with stunning bright primary colored tiles on the main floor. My favorite part was a chapel on an upper floor where the royal family could look down on the mass going on in the church from above. I am not sure why they didn’t just go to the service but it was an incredible piece of architecture connecting the palace with the church.

Our final museum was St. John’s Hospital. Housed in a hospital used until the early 21 century, it had some stunning artwork depicting Christ and different saints which was supposed to bring peace to the patients. They also had a large church like structure covered with gold and fine art work that told a story. The museum features the brilliant artwork of Hans Memling. He is probably the most famous artist known for Flemish Primitives.

We took a 30 minute canal boat tour which was narrated by the driver in English, French, and Spanish. They decided since it was the last boat to pack it in. I was squished between the driver and the front of the boat, but surprisingly it put me in a position for a great view. As we glided along the narrow canals we passed under several low bridges which elicited cries of “ooh!” from the crowd. For the first time it started to rain. Umbrellas were passed out among great laughter and just as they were all opened it stopped.

We stopped at the Waffle House. It was packed. We had fluffy waffles dusted with powdered sugar, served with whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate. Dinner tonight was at a very old world style restaurant. It’s the type of place where there are only 4 choices for your main course. David had filet of place which was delicious. I ordered a chicken dish which turned out to be too rich for me to enjoy, but the ambience of the place made it worthwhile. Tomorrow we have another full days worth of adventures planned.

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