Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brugge Bruges and west Flanders Belgium

True, we are attached to Gent but, it was time to leave the city walls and explore Flanders a little more in-depth. The original plan was to rent bikes in Gent and ride to Brugge. That plan fell through as we were persuaded by bike shops that riding a city bike between the two towns wasn't advisable. We did the next best thing and took a train and did short day trips from Brugge.

Brugge was scenic and touristy inside the city walls, a definite day trip.
The real magic was renting bikes and riding along the canals. I picked up a couple of maps at the local book shops. The trails were well numbered and easy to navigate. If you are thinking of riding in Belgium visit fietsroute.org 
The town of Damme lies about 5 km northeast of Brugge. It must be a law that for every 10,000 residents a brewery is built.  
Just peddling along.
One of the villages we rode through.
Our bike rental places was located in a youth hostel where we signed up for a free walking tour of Brugge hosted by a foul mouth wanna-be comedian. We took in the major sights in under three hours.

Sint-Salvators Cathedral
Market Square
Now here is something of importance, De Garre van Kornee is a beer cafe tucked away in an alley. The house beer is almost 12% abv and the sign states that you will only be served three. Get that and a plate of cheese.  
La Corne is a Belgium pale ale served in this special glass.
Cholo art Belgium style. Smile now, cry later.
We were warned not to ride to Knokke-Heist situated on the North Sea. We should have rode over to Sluis, Holland. 
Knokke-Heist is condo hell.  
Cabins and sun worshippers along the beach, only that the sea is several hundred meters away. It looked depressing in the sun, I can only imagine the winters.
Biking through farms.
You wanna run through it!
Our new house.
All that riding makes a person thirsty.
We were looking for a farm on one of our rides and saw this sign. Ana didn't want to go to it because she thought it said beware. Bewaaraardappelen means potatoes.
Donkeys resting home.
A little more Brugge
An excellent place to drop off postcards. 
Kamarama is an interesting art project, you can learn more by visiting the artist's website.
If you drink a Kwak quickly be prepared to have it all over your face and clothes. We sat at the community table at  De Garre van Kornee and chatted with 3 locals all over the age of 75, they gave me tips on what to taste and claimed that Belgium beer keeps you looking and feeling young. Words to live by. 
An, our airbnb host took us out for a beverage at a local place near her flat.

An is a journalist covering various conflicts in the Middle East. She is currently in Syria. 

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