Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011--It's A God***n Fairy Tale Town!

The weather darkened this day, and I awakened with a cold that only grew worse--so it goes.  With no real agenda and rather tired, we set out on our own to see a few last over-looked items and take in more of the town.

The architecture here is so varied and pleasing, though brick-work dominates most buildings.  The canals never cease to please as well, with a fresh sight around every corner.

We were determined to find the almshouses.  Actually we had passed them the day before, but were unaware of what sits behind the large, white brick walls,  These were built in the medieval period as housing for the poor, and even today the city rents these units to impoverished residents (none of whom were out when we stopped in but I'm certain were delighted to have Yankee guests).

entrance to almshouses

almshouses courtyard

We happened upon a small park with a pretty gazebo.  In the film, In Bruges (which inspired our trip to this city), Ray (Colin Farrell) is so guilt-stricken that he sits in this park and contemplates suicide until this partner, Ken, who hides in the bushes, nearly assassinates him.  Harry, the head of a gang who has hired these two killers, sends them to Bruges, his favorite city, and tells Ken that the place is a "god****ed fairy tale town!!"  Well, it is.

nearby church that was even too grim for me

Bruges is known for its chocolate, and chocolate stores are everywhere.  One of them displayed a particular fondness for the Irish; however, my favorites were the stores that featured immense chocolate breasts and chocolates embossed with images from the Kama Sutra.  Mary took a less enthusiastic opinion of these than I, thus their absence.

the Belgians certainly love Irish folklore
I was feeling so worn-out we headed back to the B & B for a nap and then dinner later.

bell tower on a windy night

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