We awoke to blue skies and sunshine and already docked in Zeebrugge. Today we caught the shuttle bus from the port at Zeebrugge to Blankenburg railway station and caught the train to Brugge. The train takes 17 min and was only A$5.00 ea.
Once connected to the sea by the Zwin River ( now silted), Brugge was a key coastal fort and its protection drew merchants into the surrounding regions. Access to the North Sea was a boon to seagoing commerce and by the 10th Century regular routes led to Scandinavia.
|Street Puppet Show Brugge|
The day was spent wandering along the tree lined cobblestone city streetsof Brugge and taking in the sights of the Gothic buildings canals and churches.
In 1892 the French author Georges Rodenbach warned the old buildings were in danger and wealthy Flemish merchants rushed to restore them and Brugge was rediscovered and restored by wealthy Flemmish buisnessmen. Click read more below for more…………
We spent some time viewing the artefacts on sale in the street markets while on the canal next to the market canal boats took tourists for scenic rides. An assortment of brickabrack although many of the goods on sale were older than items than we are used to in Australia.
In the afternoon we visited ‘The Church of Our Lady’ where the white marble sculpture of the Madonna and child is displayed which was created by Michelangelo around 1504. The stained glass windows were marvellous with each having its own story to tell.
We seached for and found a geocache while walking by the canal. Trish also managed to catch up with some emails as there were many free wifi access points.
Back on board the Ryndam, the process of packing all belongings back into suitcases began.