My room-mate at the Lybeer hostel only showed up once during the night to say hi (just when I was getting ready for sleep, thank God) and then was never seen again. How fortunate to have a room to oneself in a hostel. Getting ready in the morning was then a pleasure since I didn’t have to be quiet for someone else. I had decided to skip the free walking tour of the hostel at noon and rather go with the free Legends of Bruges tour at 9:45. My time was of course limited on this trip, so I wanted the make the most of it.
And what better way to explore a new city than to start with a free walking tour. It started at the Main Square (market) and walked there through empty streets. So great to be out before most tourist throng the streets.
Before starting with the tour I had coffee and a croissant in a nearby café. Already the croissant was lovely and tasty, so different from what is sold in Vienna as a croissant. The tour then started on time with a young and energetic guide who really knew his history.
What he explained first and what stuck with me is that Bruges looks the way it does because basically they didn’t have any money for restorations during a 500 year period. Apparently it all started with Maximilian I. when they imprisoned him in one of the houses on the Main Square and then beheaded one of his friends. I can imagine that he was not too pleased. From then on it went downhill and no money made its way to Bruges. Good for us though because it looks like medieval city.
We walked from the Main Square to cloth halls to the palace of Gruuthuse, old St John’s hospital, Beguinage, Lake of Love, Half Moon brewery, Stove street, Church of Our Lady, Bonifacius bridge, Groeninge museum, Dijver, Rozenhoedkaai, Tanner’s Square, Fish market and Burg square. In these 2 hours we saw all the sights (or almost) of Brugge. Really the best way to get to know the city and get an overview. After that I was exhausted which you will understand when you look at the pictures. Yours, Pollybert