A final wander around the canals in Bruges

Hello!

Firstly, I’d like to apologise to everyone if this post looks in any way different. WordPress has sprung and update on me and it took me a few minutes to get my bearings! All the buttons are here, there and everywhere when I thought that the previous version was perfectly acceptable. Onward and upwards I guess…I do a get this for free I suppose. However, I’d love the option of UK spell-check, I don’t like automatic corrections to the wrong spelling. Apologise does not have a Z in.

Enough grizzling. This is yuletide! In advance, just in case I forget, I shall just wish you all a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year. Has everyone bought way too much stuff that they or the recipient doesn’t strictly need? Good. That’s how it should be. I plan to buy a new bike in the new Year as my cheap “let’s see if I can still ride” bike has travelled nigh on 1000 miles now and is beginning to creak a little….literally. It’s off to be fettled over the Christmas period then Mr Gumtree will assist me in selling it. Unless anyone’s in the market? I will give you “mates rates” if you mention the blog!

On to the pictures. as the title above alludes to, this was one of the final few trips I took around Bruges indulging in people watching, the odd museum, the occasional beer, a waffle or two and such. I don’t think that I have ever had a holiday where I don’t wander…I must have itchy feet. I remember a holiday once to Tenerife, a hulking great volcano in the Atlantic disguised as an island. Surrounded by such natural wonder and all that goes with it, what did my mother opt to do? Sit on the beach. Because, of course, she had been in the proximity of a live volcano that may one day wipe out the eastern sea-board of the US. I forgot.

Firstly, a bit of a random picture. I like stuff like this. I glanced over along the canal and what did I see? Why, a relaxing dog lying in the window of a 18th century house of course…bless.

Guard dog. Belgian style

Guard dog. Belgian style

Talking of dogs, I was in a shop this morning where I made a fan. A springer spaniel who would not leave me be. Mind you, she was a fantastically obedient and well-trained gun dog but she was so affectionate…kept staring at me whilst pretty much climbing up my leg. It must be my aura. I did actually say to the owner that she probably wouldn’t fuss if I put her in the boot of my car! This may well have been the case but apparently as soon as the “work” switch was thrown she was a very focussed gun dog. Amazing. My kind of dog…not like the lazy one above!

Moving on, I was taking advantage of the beautiful sunny weather to take a few wide building shots with lovely natural light as I walked around. In case you don’t recognise this area, it’s the lagoon where I took some of my night shots…..

One of the most picturesque lagoons I have seen

One of the most picturesque lagoons I have seen

I continued up the side of the canal past all the chocolate shops and sweet smell of roasting coffee to get to the gates of the city and the main canal that is used by the larger traffic nowadays. My first stop was the gate, I believe that this is Gentepoort (the gate from the direction of Ghent)….

Gentepoort...thankfully minus traffic and bikes on this occasion!

Gentepoort…thankfully minus traffic and bikes on this occasion!

As you might be able to see by looking down to the left corner, it’s not used for traffic as the others I posted images of were. In fact, the road passes to the left of the main gateway and the gate itself is used for a cycle path. Watch out for those bikes, they have right of way in most places and they don’t often slow down!

Up through the long narrow park running alongside the canal now and I was just in time to catch a picture of this big old bruiser of a river cruiser. On a recent holiday to Germany (this Summer) I saw more and larger versions of these moored and moving on the Rhine and Mosel. The prices for these are pretty steep and it seemed a shame for the passengers as they never even got out, the cruiser just chugs on through.

An invading cruiser on the main canal. It was so big all the other traffic had to move out of the way!

An invading cruiser on the main canal. It was so big all the other traffic had to move out of the way!

Anyway, I was fortunate enough to be able to review things at a slower pace. Much like this fisherman on the canal just along from the city centre. Not being able to speak Flemish (the most popular language in Bruges) I didn’t dare approach him to ask if he had caught anything, but the hunched shoulder and look of boredom gave me a good guess. I can’t say I would have eaten his catch myself but I suspect he was just there for the sport. Maybe.

Chances he caught anything apart from a boot and a shopping trolley, anyone?

Chances he caught anything apart from a boot and a shopping trolley, anyone?

Back to the main square in town now and look, blue sky! Time for a dizzying upward sky shot including the steeples of the old churches. Hurrah. That and the fact that there are clouds included; you all know my love of clouds by now (more coming on that soon).

Some lovely scenery....oh, yes, the buildings are nice too, I guess :)

Some lovely scenery….oh, yes, the buildings are nice too, I guess πŸ™‚

I had a good wander around the grounds this time too and found that there was a small open museum in the bowels of the building. Alas, the signs were in French and Flemish so i could only glean a bit of information but it appeared that the area and the garden was a reconstruction of the area put aside as a medieval pharmacy that was used by the church for hundreds of years.

The garden outside the old pharmacy (the one that didn't have a security guard in it)

The garden outside the old pharmacy (the one that didn’t have a security guard in it)

Inside there was a sign saying that I wasn’t able to take pictures but, hey, rules are made to be broken aren’t they so I snapped one for you all. What an awesome place. Just imagine all the smells of the herbs and such when they were being measured and mixed by the monks. Even if they didn’t cure your illness, at least you smelt good whilst you lay in bed! There was a security guard sat in front of a small herb garden so I couldn’t push that one; you need to just close your eyes and picture that.

A stolen internal view of the old pharmacy. A bit different nowadays isn't it?

A stolen internal view of the old pharmacy. A bit different nowadays isn’t it?

Well, there we have it. Last post before Christmas. As I said before, have a good Christmas. I hope everyone gets what they wanted and if you don’t….well, you should have been more specific! Not too many mince pies and booze now but, having said that, I will have a bike for sale in the New year for you to lose the weight with, so, feel free πŸ™‚

Happy Christmas. See you in 2015

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