Today I arrived after an idyllic flight into Brussels Airport. Equally idyllic was the train ride to Brugge with its comfortable seating and pleasant views of the countryside. Belgium has many cows, horses, and groomed fields ready for planting. As I gazed out the railroad window it amazed me how many bikes are used and even more, how do folks ever find them in these train parking lots?
Upon arriving in Brugge I quickly hustled to my hotel and then to the Half Moon Brewery Tour. While pricey at 12 Euro it was interesting and the beer tasty. I even ran into 2 gals from St. Augustine as I explored the restaurant area with pictures of Brugge through the last 6 generations of family that ran the brewery.
After this I leaped over to the Begijnof. This began in 1245 as homes for widows and spinsters known as Beguines. These gals wished to live a pious and celibate life, however, since 1972 the Benedictine sisters have resided here along with women who wish to follow this way of life. Visitors freely walk the gated grounds in silence between allotted times and may visit the Catholic church on the property.
Outside of the Begijnof is the Minnewater Park or Lake of Love. Here swans swim and tourists eagerly snap pictures of the area. This is the welcoming spot to Brugge as tourists enter the city. Not far from the lake is a walking/biking path which surrounds the City. There are many bike rentals in Brugge and once you accommodate to the stone streets this is a viable means of transport.
See you tomorrow.
*You always loose a day when you travel to Europe from the US.