Bruges is a cursed city, they must keep a minimum of fifty-eight swans here at all times! Right now they are safe as they have over 100 but they treat this curse very seriously. All the swans have tracking devices on their legs and the city even has a law about the Swans! It is said that one of the kings of France wanted to take the city and sent in his 58 best soldiers. The people of Bruges found out about this plan and were able to slay all 58 in their sleep. The King then sent swans to the city and set the curse, if there is ever less then 58 the city will flood.
Bruges is filled with gable steps, almost every house has them. At one time, gable steps where a sign of wealth, the more you had the richer you were. They were used by chimneysweeps to get from one house to the next.
In Bruges we stopped for Flemish food at ‘t Vagevuur. This was a very nice restaurant, we had Flemmish Rabbit and pasta with a Zot dark beer. Zot is the only beer brewed in Bruges! We finished our meal off with a delicious Brussels waffle. Leaving the restaurant, we had a great view of the city under the lights.
Bruges was also a great place to stop for chocolates. We stopped in at CHOCOLATERIE
DE BURG where we were treated to many delicious samples and so much chocolate knowledge we could not resist getting some for ourselves. All hand made, in the basement of the shop, this was absolutely the place to be to have a Belgian chocolate tasting experience.
Next on the food to try list was Belgian fries. No, French fries is not the proper term. During the war, American soldiers found themselves in Belgium, people in Belgium speak many languages, one of these happens to be french. When these soldiers heard their waiter speaking french, they believed they were in France and carried the name home with them.
These fries are, almost like a Canadian poutine, covered in a thick ox sauce. These fries are crispy and delicious. But the food experience did not stop there! Before leaving Bruges, one more waffle stop was in need.
These waffles, made out of a small truck, are made fresh. They have almost any topping you can think of and we absolutely had to have one with just that. One liege waffle, smothered in chocolate and one majestic waffle, a brussels, with whipped cream, strawberries ice cream and a blackberry to top it off!
Bruges is a medieval town and some of the major things to see are churches. Two of these are especially important. The Basilica of the Holy Blood houses the relic of Christ’s blood. Whether you are christian or not, one interesting story about this relic is that the blood is solid while everything is right in the world, if things start to change in the world and there are wars or bad things are happening, the blood becomes liquid again and stays this way until the world is back in the right place and everything is going well again.
The other is important because it contains Michelangelo’s only piece outside of Italy.
The Church of our Lady, contains the statue Madonna with Child. This statue is of Mary holding jesus. One thing you may notice is the strange symbol the baby is making with his hand. Michelangelo did not like to sign his pieces, he felt as though this was defacing his art. Instead, he would find other ways to leave his mark. In this case the baby is making and M with his fingers.