June 17, 2008.
The Regatta docked at Zeebrugge and a taxi drove us to the center of Bruges, the Town Square. It has a municipal carillon on the Belfry Tower. This tower is very important because it serves as point of reference as you walk around the town. We had lunch at a restaurant in the Town Square.
We decided to go on a horse drawn carriage to explore the neighborhood.
We also took a walking tour of the neighborhood and saw the Town Hall. We ventured into the courtyards of some municipal buildings. The municipal buildings are located at the Burg Square, adjacent to the market square.
The Town Hall houses the Aldermans' Chambers. It is filled with Gothic wall paintings and a polychrome ceiling. The painted figures illustrate stories of the city's past.
We went on a canal boat ride. We saw many beautiful houses and medieval buildings including the Church of Our Lady. The canals resembled the canals in Venice Italy.
The Church of Our Lady has a tower 122 meters high, it is one of the world's highest brick buildings. It was embellished with different styles of the preceding 700 years.
Within the church we saw a Michelangelo sculpture of the Madonna and Child, believed to be the only sculpture that left Italy during his lifetime.
On our final walk, in Bruges, we saw some typical structures and the oldest pharmacy in the country.
A very distinct contrast between a Tibetan exhibit and a modern supermarket.