Brugge, a living museum

September 14, 2006


We are so glad that we did not miss this little gem. The first thing we did was rent some bikes since we are camped within walking distance and it is an enchanting small city to see by bike and foot. Brugge Belgium was the greatest cloth trading center of northern Europe during the 1300’s where the wealthy people built mansions,ornate palaces, churches and squares through out the city. It had a population of 35,000 then, in a league with London. But by the 16th century the port silted up and killed the economy. So a bad thing for people at the time, but a great thing for tourists as it remains much as it was centuries ago. They were too poor for years to tear the old down and build on top of it, so it really is a living museum. Great for Mozart who is studying medieval times now to get a real flesh and blood sense of things thru the architecture and seeing the sights.

This first day we got a late start as usual. We tend to like to sleep in and move slow in the morning.
Most people in the campgrounds seem to be at this more leisurely pace and after all what is the hurry.
Life in a camper is just not compatible with rushing. We enjoy most of our meals in our outdoor dining
room ,but then everything must be brought in and out. Showers are a stroll away and take certain amount of preparation and concentration. Boiled eggs, French bread and cheese with fruit and juice is often our breakfast because its easy and satisfying. Playing with other kids sometimes distracts Mozart from her home school. Every day is a lazy summer day pretty much. This campsite is growing on us. Ah,especially the unlimited, free hot water and wifi...both luxuries for European campgrounds.

Brugge really is as delightful as they say. As we first entered, I thought, well its not that special because one starts building fantasy after reading so many wonderful things about some thing. But as we wandered and discovered lots of soul satisfying nooks and sights we  quickly knew why people rave about this place.
It is almost Disney-esque in its perfection at moments, with swans, flowers, gothic buildings, cobblestone streets and clopping horse carriages trotting by. Of course,with more realness, so full of charm. Some compare it to the Cottswolds, but I find it quite different, altho there are some similarities to there and other places Europe. It does have a nice flavor of its very own and I am glad we decided to check it out.
It is not a secret, but a place we have missed over the years.

We were walking down one of these ancient and colorful streets when I lost Da Vinci and Mozart temporarily as they had gotten so far ahead that they took a seat on some steps. I was in my own little world stopping to take some pictures here and there as I wandered taking in all the new sights and suddenly they had vanished into thin air,no where to be seen. It was such a twilight zone feeling like being in a dream as if I had made up the whole thing and was suddenly beamed to a new planet. It was very disorienting perhaps because we have become such a tight threesome and suddenly I was alone. If you see Mozart or any of us with three fingers up, its because of the soultravels3 cheer and motto. We are a happy threesome and I
have done Europe alone, as a couple and find this family style a very special way with unique rewards
and challenges.













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