Brugge was the first stop in a 6 week tour of Europe. We arrived by train after a flight from Halifax to Heathrow airport. We took the underground from Heathrow to Kings Cross-St Pancras. Then we travelled from St Pancras Station on the Chunnel to France where we caught another train to Belguim and a small regional train to Brugge. I had allowed for several hours to reach St Pancras thinking that customs and the travel from the airport would take a lot of time. This extra time allowance was not necessary, but we weren’t able to change our tickets for earlier ones.
Our accommodations were already confirmed at Hotel t’Keizershof for 44 euro per night including breakfast. It was a short hop from the train station…if you departed by the correct door. We soon figured out our mistake and make our way to the hotel.
Hotel t’Keizershof was very clean, in an older building. Our room faced the street. I was excited to hear people going past from the train station with their wheeled suitcases; it seemed to match the feeling of being on the road. It was to become a soundtrack for the next 6 weeks and remained consistent in every country. There was a sink in the room, but we had to go down the hall to use the bathroom or shower. A sign in the room told you not to wash clothes in the sink, which was a disappointment to me as I had hoped to do this every night. The breakfast was served in a bright room overlooking the street. Our fellow travellers were from all over the world.
We were an easy walk to the historic centre of Brugge. Brugge comes from the Old Norse, “Bryggja” which means landing stage. In medieval times Brugge became a centre of commerce. Its beautiful canals and prosperous merchants earned it the name Venice of the North. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, the city’s well preserved medieval buildings, canals, cobbled streets and market squares draw tourists from all over the world.
Quiet and peaceful Beguinage. This monastery housed nuns from the Beguine movement for many centuries.
Along one of the canals in Brugge.
Bell tower Brugge
I have never seen a violin quite like this one before.