Brugge/Bruges, BE: A Living Fairy Tale

Brugge, or Bruges, as French-speakers write it, is one of those cities an ex-photographer (US Naval Reserve, 1986 – 1993, pretty proud of that, but that’s another blog post) loves to photograph. There are beautifully composed photos everywhere; you don’t even have to pause before pressing the shutter release. I’ve been there only twice, and both times, I’ve captured beautiful images.

Many people get around via the canals that surround their houses.

Many people get around via the canals that surround their houses.

The first time I traveled there was in early Fall. The weather was mild and the light was good, but not great. Nevertheless, the following few shots managed to emerge from my point-and-shoot’s memory card.

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A tourist boat travels along the canal. Thousands of tourists travel the canals every year. The guides are boat captains who speak many languages well enough to conduct the tour.

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Even in overcast conditions, the reflections off the water make for a pretty photo.

Tourist Boats

Tour Boats

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Carriage rides are probably more fun in the Spring and Fall than in Winter and Summer, especially for the horses, I would expect, but also for the tourists.

Inside the cathedral.

Inside the cathedral

As you can see, Brugge is a canal city; it is sometimes called “the Venice of the north.”  Truly a more beautiful small city has never existed. And there are all kinds of   family-friendly things to do, from boat rides to carriage rides, to museums, a great cathedral, parks, and restaurants.

My friend and I stumbled upon an exhibit that was unforgettable: Picasso, Miró, and Rodin!

My friend and I stumbled upon an exhibit that was unforgettable: Picasso, Miró, and Rodin!

Only my favorite Picasso piece ever...

Only my favorite Picasso piece ever…

And the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Some of the buildings are very impressive. There are simple houses whose doors open directly onto the canal, plus huge administrative buildings on the Burg, the city’s administrative town square.

The Burg, Brugge's administrative square. These buildings are part of the reason Brugge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Burg, Brugge’s administrative square. These buildings are part of the reason Brugge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

On top of all this, Brugge is located in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking region. What that means for those of you who napped through your high school French classes is that most people speak English. As one Dutch-speaker told me once when I apologized for not speaking her native tongue, “Why should you? We know there are only a few of us who speak this language!”

So let’s say that by now you are convinced that Brugge is a beautiful city, worthy of a visit. And you are asking yourself, “Hmmm, when should I go?” Well, that all depends on your cold-to-beauty ratio. As you might guess, in winter, along these canals, Brugge is quite frigid. Now my cold-to-beauty ratio is pretty heavy on the “cold” end. Nevertheless, it was worth a visit in winter even for me so that I could see the light in a clarity that is very rare in warmer times of the year in the typically grey, Belgian climate.

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Brugge at winter dusk

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Christmas Market fairy tale: the town goes all out for the Christmas Market. It is a twinkling fantasy.

The shops dress up, too.

The shops dress up, too.

But it doesn’t take Christmas lights to make this city beautiful at night. It just IS. Especially in this clear, cold air.

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Even the animal kingdom finds Brugge irresistible.

If you like what you see, learn more at Brugge’s official site: http://www.brugge.be/internet/en/index.htm

Thank you for reading my post about Brugge. Please leave a comment, and tell your friends! Bon voyage!

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About Sunny

I'm an American with a Spanish heart, and one foot in France. But both feet are in Belgium, along with the rest of me.
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8 Responses to Brugge/Bruges, BE: A Living Fairy Tale

  1. Joni Carter says:

    Wonderful post! Breath taking photos! And I didn’t know you were a photographer! How cool is that? We are going to Bruges, aren’t we? Is it terribly hot in summer?

  2. Superb photos. Absolutely wonderful. I loved Bruges too. Either your point and shoot is excellent or you are!

    • Sunny says:

      Thanks! I’m becoming more fond of photo-blogging, I think. Which is not all that great sometimes as it takes longer to post. Too many go-see-how-it-looks-then-go-back-and-re-do. I appreciate your comments — I confess I’m not as good at commenting as you are. My new year’s resolution is to comment more!

      • Hmm, I’m not too keen on photo-blogging per se as unless you have an insight into the pix it doesn’t always resonate. That’s why I have a not-a-photo-blog (one of my many blogs as well as roughseas) that always includes a bit of a story with each pic.

        I don’t comment that often. Only on interesting blogs 😉 And sometimes it is easier than writing a post if I am feeling lazy or have nothing to say.

      • Sunny says:

        You just made me smile. Thank you for that! 🙂

  3. A Simple Guy says:

    Lovely pictures. Keep it up !!

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