Bruges notes, April 27, 2006
April 29, 2006
Bruges was absolutely submerged in tourists on a Thursday in late April. I can’t imagine it during the busy season. The extraordinary number of Japanese was probably swelled by their going primarily to the flower season in Holland. Nonetheless, walking around was sometimes a pleasure as one can still imagine the old city without all the kitsch shops. The buildings are in good shape and lovely. The Groeninge Museum and the Memling Museum were interesting, with good audio tours for those of us who are not really into Flemish Renaissance art. The train from Brussels runs every half hour and takes an hour through surprisingly green countryside. The station in Bruges is on the outskirts, but one can walk into the start of the interesting things, the Begijnhof, in fifteen minutes.
Mike was last in Bruges about 1972; he stayed at the Hôtel Duc de Bourgogne and had his first duck with green peppercorns. Linda lunched there in 1981. So we went for lunch. The quality of the cuisine has gone downhill, but is okay. But it is an island of elegant tranquillity amidst the tourist brouhaha outside. Presumably if one stayed there again, one could enjoy Bruges in the early morning and the evening when the crowds were gone.
Addendum: To see our reports from in and around Bruges in 2011 click here.