Visit Bruges by Mouse
Bruges is 150 miles southwest of Amsterdam, 58 miles northwest of Brussels and 29 miles west of Ghent. It was the first town we visited on our first trip in 2002. We had shipped our motorhome from Jacksonville, Florida to the port of Zeebrugge on Belgium's western seacoast. The town of Bruges is just a little inland from there. We had flown to Brussels. Then we took the train to Bruges where we had reserved a hotel room. The next morning we took a taxi to Zeebrugge to pick up the RV. Then we drove back to Bruges, found a campground in the city, and took a bus into town. It was an absolutely lovely introduction to our European tour. Bruges is among the prettiest, and most interesting towns we have ever visited.
We have visited Bruges twice.  We liked the whole look of the city with its ornate buildings and canals, and pretty shops displaying fine lace, chocolate, ice cream and other foods. There was an open-air market on the main square on our first afternoon.  We especially liked the nearby square where the Council building, the Gothic Hall, a very old church with an ornate front facade and the Tourist office are located. 
And the city's liveliness, perhaps due to the many tourists that visit as well as the horse and buggy rides they take. During the day and into the evenings one hears a chorus of clip-clops throughout the city center as the horses trot very quickly around and sometimes slow to a walk before stepping up again. Another contributor to the general hubub are the many restaurants with tables jutting out into the streets where you can relax over a meal or a coffee and watch the action.
Our enjoyment of Bruges consisted mainly of walking its pretty streets, with stops for coffee and chocolate. We visited one fine museum, the Memling. It is housed in one of the oldest preserved medieval hospitals in Europe, St John's, and contains many works of the 15th century artist, Hans Memling, hence the name of the museum.
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(Slideshow 2005)
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