Monday, August 10, 2009

Brugges, Belgium and Kasteel Wijnendale part 1

On the 6th of August, we went to Brugges, Belgium and to Kasteel Wijnendale near Torhout with the Higgenbothams. We had a wonderful day. Brugges is a lovely city with lots of canals, churches, cathedrals, buildings, shops, and restaurants. Some of the buildings are 900 years old. We started out with a very fun ride in a bateau mouche on the canal. We saw so many interesting and beautiful houses and buildings.
The architecture is just amazing.

This was the best tapestry shop. I bought a couple of little(tiny) tapestries for myself as a souvenir and wanted to get one for each of my kids, but didn't know if they would like them. If they do want one, we hope to go back again and then I will be able to get them. They will have to let me know. Ha.

I love the tapestry of the knight and lady, but it is quite larg and costs over 500eu.

Mike's face in the photo.

The following pictures are of market square.

The bell tower.

The back of one of the bell tower. The carrillons played every few minutes. One could walk up the 500 steps and see the guy playing, but, with my knees, we decided not to.

The bell tower again.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood. This was actually very small inside. The story goes that someone brought a relic wth the blood of Christ on it. Now it is displayed upstairs and people line up to walk past and touch it. We decided not to do that.

Statues inside the Basilica.

The carvings and statues are very beautiful.

It seems like every city has several mimes entertaining the tourists. There were tons of people there. Brugge is considered the Venice of Belgium and so there are many tourists there year round. On that day we heard many Spanish speaking people. Of course Dutch and French speakers are the locals.

We ate at this restaurant. Kathy and I had salmon. Dh had chicken and Mike had mussels(the specialty of the region). All of the food was good, but next time, I am having mussels. They were delich. A little bottle of water (abt 6ozs) cost 6eu and a small soda cost 3eu.

The church of Our Lady. The statue in the middle is Madonna and Child by Michaelangelo. It is the only sculpture by him outside of Italy. It was not very large, only about 4 ft, I think.

It is a very beautiful sculpture.

The church itself is gorgeous, full of beautiful statues, paintings, sculptures, carvings, tapestries, etc. I am so amazed at all of the exquisite art work everywhere.

There are many huge paintings. They must be about 15 ft high. (according to Kathy's and my estimations).

In the middle of many of the cathedrals is a curvy stairway that leads to a podium. They are very elaborate and beautiful.

A back view of the castle.

I loved our little visit today to such a picturesque place and to the castle too. I can't believe how lucky we are to be on a mission and to also be able to see so many wonderful places. If you click on these pictures, you can see the details.


Yvonne said...

Thank you for sharing. I am so amazed at the detail in all of the carvings and the buildings. Incredible.

Nancy Face said...

So many beautiful pictures of wonderful places and things! It amazes me that buildings can still be standing after 900 years! :)

Connie said...

Gorgeous pictures of beautiful buildings! I am so amazed at the architecture and carvings of each building.
We had a young man return from Belgium last week...I can't remember the name of his mission but he spoke Dutch. I think he said the mission included part of Spain and France. Also, our stake RS president is from Belgium.
I didn't realize you taught special ed. What a neat person you are! :-) Enjoy your day!