I could have seen In Bruges WHILE in Bruges! (but I didn't)
Brugge (I prefer the Flemish spelling) did not disappoint. It is a very beautiful town, and I'm glad I made it. I would have enjoyed it more with a travel partner, but since I don't know how many more times my company will send me to Europe, I figured I should jump on the opportunity while it's here, even if I was by myself.
I wanted to see the swans. I was told they hang out on a lake (actually I think a canal turned into lake) called Minnewater, or Lake of Love. The lake was indeed lovely. I even saw baby swans! They were so fluffy and cute.
I found myself wondering what would happen if I threw one of my fries (naturally I was munching on some Belgian fries with mayonnaise) into the water. I found the answer: I immediately became the Best Friend of a dozen swans. I tossed them some more fries. I even bonked one on the head with a fry - completely unintentionally, I swear! Fortunately it didn't mind.
This is the famous Belfry, which is on one end of Market Square. I'd really wanted to climb to the top, but unfortunately it had already closed for the day by the time I arrived. Oh well... now I'll have something to do next time!
On another side of Market Square is the really cool looking Provincial Court.
Directly across the market from the Belfry is an area with some renovated medieval buildings and a bunch of restaurants and cafes. The one on the right is where I ate dinner.
My trip to Brugge was very brief! I arrived about 4:30, and then walked 2 km from the train station to my hotel (dragging my suitcase and carrying my giant laptop bag!). Then I walked all over the town.... at around 8:30 I noticed my feet were hurting a whole lot. I started cursing my feet, and the damage they'd sustained the previous weekend.... when I realized I'd been walking on them almost continuously for four hours. On cobblestones, and sometimes with luggage. Maybe my feet weren't being unreasonable after all!
I stopped by my hotel room to rest a tiny bit. I propped up my aching feet and lay down to read an ebook on my cell phone for a few minutes. I woke up when I dropped the phone on the floor.... oops.
However when you only have one evening for vacation, you have to make it count! At 10pm I put on different shoes and warmer clothes, then headed back out for a Belgian dinner and some people-watching in the Market. It was a good, if sleepy, way to finish off the evening.