Monday, May 31, 2011
Since most museums and tourist sights in Brugge are closed on Mondays we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous sunshine and go for a bike ride. Our Rick Steves guidebook gave us a discount on our bike rental and even gave a recommended day trip to the nearby village of Damme.
First we ate breakfast and the headed to the bike rental place. Of course we got lost getting there as I confused St. Niklous with Niklous street. Oops! We got bikes with a basket on the front so that we could stop and get a picnic lunch on the way out of town.
Let me just say that biking and trying to navigate is very difficult. We made a few wrong turns, one market was closed but we finally found the store and bought supplies for a picnic lunch and headed in the right direction. Once out of the city center there is a bike path that follows a canal straight to Damme so we couldn't really get lost anymore. We went at a leisurely pace stopping to take some pictures of us with our bikes. Our first glimpse of Damme was actually of a working windmill that is open everyday except Monday, what luck.
We rode through the cobblestone streets and down a little bike path to a bench along a cute little canal. Across the canal we could see some cattle laying in the grass enjoying the windy afternoon. We stopped there to enjoy our lunch of cheese and bread. Unfortunately we didn't read the bread package very carefully and ended up with yummy raisin bread. Now, raisin bread is good but it doesn't go very well with cheese and chicken so we ate them separately and sipped our wine out of plastic cups. It was a very nice little picnic even if it was a bit windy.
After finishing our lunch we made our way to the old church in town and went in to take a look. Part of the church has been destroyed but the other part is quite lovely. There was this creepy statue with 3 faces in the garden behind the church and we must have taken 30 pictures of ourselves trying to imitate the statue, it was quite hilarious if not irreverent.
After visiting the church we headed back into Brugge. The ride back seemed to go much quicker, most likely because we didn't get lost. Around the old moat of the city there are four old windmills so we rode along the moat to take a look at them and of course take some pictures. We then attempted to go to several recommended eating establishments which were closed. We finally found one that was not closed and we sat and talked and listened to the locals arguing with English tourists for about 3 hours before we headed back to the B&B.
It was a great day and bikes are definitely the way to get around Brugge. I really do love this city!