Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bruges, Belgium.

Bruges is a moderate size city in the small but important country of Belgium.  Belgium is currently the home of the governing body of the European Union. More on that later. 
Bruges is a city of canals, cobble stone streets, chocolate, cathedrals & beer. 
The sound of the hoofbeats of the horse drawn carriages on those cobble stones still reverberate in my ears a week later. 

For a city of that size there are so many old red brick Cathedrals or Abbeys.  One has to wonder what drew the society of the 16th century to migrate to that area to build such a number of huge magnificent structures constructed to worship G-D.  Religious artwork, statues and paintings boggle the mind as we traverse this city.  Needless to say we did not spend allot of time inside the churches. 
                Besides religious symbolism Bruges is also famous for brewing beer. Many varieties of the beverage are brewed in this country and this small city had its own brewery which provides us with several different varieties with bbbvarious colors and strengths. Some so strong just one can knock a novice off his feet.  With those hard cobblestones one would be wise to wear a helmet after leaving a pub. 
Rivaling the amount Cathedrals and pubs were the chocolate stores. Belgian chocolate is quite smooth and rich. So many different options to choose from one is attempted to try them all. During the brief time we were in town my method was to sample the darkest, most nut or fruit filled I could find. The combination of almost pure cocoa, berries or citron is indescribably delicious. Cheska seemed to prefer the the more lethal creme filled morsels.  Strong flavored chocolate truffles brought smiles to both our faces.  Pictured below are marshmwellows covered in the rich confection. Reminiscent of the American mallomar but so much more. 
We just spent two or three days there and I felt that was quite enough. It is stunningly attractive in monastically sort of way, but that weekend it was too filled with with tourists searching for that quiet beauty to feel the hush of monks. 

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