Day 822 of Traveling the World, Retrospective: Bruges, Belgium. May 3, 2020.

It is Day 48 of our quarantine, with no end in sight. We may be in Florida until there is a vaccine, since other countries don’t want visitors, and we don’t want to risk getting the virus. Like all of you, every day is essentially the same, with our only diversions being the meals we eat and the movies or series we watch. We still take our daily walk early in the morning, since the gym is closed, but it is getting hotter by the day. Cloudy and breezy days are a blessing.

So, we asked ourselves, “What can we do to keep our site fresh and interesting, during this time of quarantine and travel bans, when we cannot travel?” When we scroll through the tv channels, ESPN is showing old games from years ago, since there is nothing new to present. What’s good enough for sports networks is good enough for us. We came up with the idea of retrospectives…sharing places we have traveled over the years but before we started this blog and a life of (in a good way!) – homelessness. We would really love to visit these places again, but until the world opens up, and until we leave Florida for other locations, we thought we would present retrospectives every few days.

First up is Bruges, Belgium, visited in 2014 as part of a 12-country European itinerary. This of course was back when our trips lasted just a few months, rather than the “rest of our lives” trip we are on now. The first night there, we watched the movie, “In Bruges,” and enjoyed seeing places from the movie as we walked around. Bruges received its city charter in 1128, and was a prominent city for trade due to its port. Its tidal inlet was known as the Golden Inlet, and in fact, because of its canals, the city is named after the Dutch word for bridge – brugge.

The first and fourth photos are Provinciaal Hof, the Province Court, a stunning building in Markt Square. In the second photo is the Belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower that is a prominent feature of the UNESCO World Heritage site Old Town. It played a prominent role in the movie, In Bruges. The city has many types of architecture, and you can see the Dutch influence in the third photo.

Then there was dancing! This was mid-September, and crowds were still in the square for dancing (as you can see in two of the photos), eating, and drinking. You can see a photo of one of the many chocolate shops in Bruges…it seemed that almost every second shop we passed was selling Belgian chocolate – unless, of course, it was a bar or brewery, and they were selling beer! The two photos after the chocolate shop are of the Church of Our Lady. We took the Henri Maes brewery tour, with their famous beer being De Halve Maan (Half Moon). We took a lovely boat tour of the canal and spied a sign for “Old St. Jan.” Of course, that is St. John in English, but Jan will settle for a saintly nod, even if “old.” The last photos show the creepy French Fry Guy (look at those eyes!) and the waffles menu. Those two items are also ubiquitous in Belgium. Hmmmm….chocolates, beer, Belgian fries, and waffles….wonder why we would LOVE to go back????