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On our way to Scotland we first stop at Bruges

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Wednesday 10 May, on our way to Scotland we first stop at Bruges

I wake up this morning with a sore throat but do not pay attention to it. It is wonderful weather and we are on the road again. Tomorrow we will take the boat from Dunkirk to Dover, but today we leave in time because we have aranged an extra day in Bruges. In December 2013 we were there for the last time and we found it a very nice city but today the weather is a lot more pleasant. We easily find a parking space outside the center.
On a terrace in Bruges The provincial court at the Markt in BrugesWe first walk in the direction of the Markt, the central square of the medieval center. The terraces are completely full, because of the beautiful weather, the Bruggelingen, as the inhabitants are called, and the tourists obviously enjoy it. We marvel at the many historic buildings, there is so much preserved of the medieval city that the whole center is on the world heritage list of the Unesco. However, many buildings have been restored and embellished with neo-Gothic elements in the 19th century, hence also the many decorations.
The popular heroes Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck in BrugesOn the Markt, also called Grote Markt (Large Market), has been used as a market square for centuries, so they have come up with a good name for it. Only at the time of Napoleon it was called Place Napoleon for a few years. Around the square are the largest monumental buildings and there are several monuments on it. In the middle of the square stands the statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, two local folk heroes who played a role in the resistance against the French in 1302. Through the course of the centuries, their contribution has greatly increased. It is certain that they slaughtered a small French army in 1302 and thus activated a series of events.
On a terrace in BrugesWhen we read on a terrace about the history at that time, it appears that quite a bit of struggle has taken place in that period and that Flanders, which had reasonable autonomy under French rule, chose the side of England that was at war with France. In the name of freedom, there was quite a lot of slaughtering. Well, freedom fighters or terrorists, you say it. So much has not changed in the world and we are really lucky in the West that we have been able to live in reasonable freedom for more than 70 years. Hopefully that freedom never feels the need to retire.
Canal in Bruges Houses on a canal in BrugesAfter our stop in the sun, we resume our walk and wander through all parts of the old city. There are many channels, the so-called Reien, branches of the river Reie.
There are a lot of tourist attractions in Bruges, too many to mention here. If you want to get to know the city as a tourist, well then you need a few days. There are tens of museums, some of them in historic buildings such as the Belfry and the St. Salvators Cathedral. In the Saaihalle there is a very special museum, about fries: in the fries museum you will learn everything about the history of potatoes and fries and their place in art.
Although we have only walked half a day through Bruges, we are quite satisfied with everything we have seen and at the end of the day we look for a terrace where we can sit outside because it is still 22 degrees at 6 o'clock. There we eat something and then go to our hotel, just outside the city and we prepare ourselves for Scotland.


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