Our first stop was the Markt,
where we planned to climb 366 stairs to the top of the Bell Tower.
(Lists distances to other cities, which I thought was pretty cool)
(made with autostitch again)
After stumbling to a bench to rest as the bells started a short concert, we took a quick trip back to the hotel to get our purses (having our hotel be so close made it an easy decision to leave the heavy bags for the climb), then made a quick shopping break.
before heading off on Rick Steves' Markt to Moat tour, which took us to the Windmills near the old town moat!
On the way back to the main park of town we stopped at two of Ricks recommended chocolatiers to get a few samples.
From here it was time for real food--lunch! We stopped at a cafe on the Markt square. Very pretty setting, and a sandwich!
After lunch we started Rick's other walk to the main sites,
(more chocolate stores!)
starting with Burg Square, just off the Markt. We went in the Basilica of the Holy Blood, said to have a vial of the Blood of Christ.
The bottom of this church was in dark Romanesque style
Then we went back out in the square then into Town hall to see the banquet hall (painted in the 1800s in neogothic style--oh, my pre-Raphaelite heart!).
The ticket also included a visit to the Renaissance Hall where town leaders gathered for meetings.
We continued on with the walk, crossing through the Blinde-Ezelstraat.
From here, we basically retraced our steps from yesterday's walk, until we again reached the grounds of the Church of Our Lady.
(Twelve Aposotles line the nave)
(Very nice Baroque pulpit)
(Tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold)
This church is the home of a statute by Michelangelo of Mary holding baby Jesus.
At this point we had finished so it was back to yesterdays tearoom for hot chocolate, (including a taste of chocolates from the store across the street)
and a fancy dessert of chocolate ganache around chocolate mouse with orange.
When in Bruges!
After a brief break it was off to dinner in the Huidevettersplein. We apparently choose a fancy place for tonight's dinner!
(I had pork cheek stew with fries--yummy!)
(View from our table by the window)
Later we headed back to the Burg Square
and then do the Markt for nighttime pictures.
before heading back.