Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Sun Comes Out in Bruges

Bruges is considered the Venice of the north. Not having been to Venice I can't really comment on how accurate that is. What I can comment on is how beautiful it is with all those canals. I never realized how much my environmental surroundings affect me and my overall outlook on life, the day, anything. Being near water and having sunlight are apparently both hugely important. Okay, on to more important things: 

Also, I lied, there were a few more pictures to show without the sun in them. But those are coming, be patient!

Real autumn colors! Woo hoo!

The photos above are of artwork we saw in a few museums while in Bruges. The bottom three are all prints done by Bruges artist Frank Brangwyn. Printmaking is one of those techniques in art that I am always blown away by. I never mastered it in any way so I love to look at how other people use their gifts with this process. These prints were actually fairly small, only 8 inches I'd say at the largest. I have a sweet spot for small works of art. The two top pieces were just cool. They were entitled "Snow covered cars" and it looked like they'd punched tiny holes from behind the paper to create the effect of snow. So cool!

These are from the chocolate museum. Honestly it really isn't worth the money or time to learn about the process. It would be if they gave you a ton of samples of the stuff. Buuuuut they do not. We were fooled. The best part about it was this quote from the 17th century, I highlighted it so you won't miss it.

As soon as we got to our room after a day of exploring, the sun came out. So we headed right back into it even though it felt like our feet were on the verge of falling off from all the walking.

Seriously, this city. In love. Dibs on one of those balconied apartments.

Our last stop of the evening was a small cafe near our B&B. I've been sampling hot chocolate in every cafe/bar we go to while Chris samples all the different beers. You may not think they'd differ for me but this one was a first. Chocolate on a stick that you melt into a milk/cream mixture and then add the whipped cream at the end. Delicious. Five stars.

The next morning we only had a few more things on our list: a belfry, a castle and a little bear. We got to two of the three but more on that in a second.

This, ladies and gentlemen, (okay, I know it's mostly ladies), is the Belfry. It's featured quite a bit in this movie that Chris and I watched and he's been excited about the climb to the top since we started planning this trip. I discovered in recent years that I have a slight fear of heights and although I'll jump right on a huge rollercoaster, I inexplicably cannot look over our 4th story balcony. Definitely could not pull off anything remotely close to Felix's jump. This climb has 366 steps and, after I chickened out at the little red door and turned around from there, Chris told me at one point it is so narrow that both his shoulders were touching the wall while he walked higher and higher. Sorry folks, that is just not gonna happen. But these are the views I got before my knees turned to jello. Then I went walking around while Chris finished the climb on his own. Poor guy, I literally turned around in between two levels and was like "k bye, can't do it, bye" ditch, and out.

I know what you're thinking. Wait, where'd this horse come from in the middle of a field? The castle I wanted to see is actually just outside of Bruges AND good news is its a bed and breakfast! Summertime, staying over night in Bruges again, found our next lodging for sure. And here she is:

Cute little thing, right?

On the way back I think I found my dream home. Just need to transplant it to the states. And look, it comes with a llama! He ran back and forth along the fence next to us while we passed, like a little puppy. I'll take him.

The only thing we didn't get to was Bruges' little bear. He's kind of like the peeing boy of Brussels but cuter. Our feet honestly hurt too much to try, especially when the downpour began promptly after the picture of the llama. (I just realized how super duper long this post is. If you stuck with me to the end, I commend you!)

The sun came out as we walked the last few streets home. This city was unpredictable and beautiful. It has also inspired me to start a little series for my painting...more on that (hopefully) tomorrow. We will be going back.

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