we were plenty happy--our room was so cute! The hotel is old and we are in a room that we were told they think was the kitchen. This is a boutique hotel with only 24 or so rooms.
The bed was made in 1703! We even have our own little patio.
There was a beautiful parlor upstairs I went to see too.
I could have definitely stayed here longer. Next we went to nearby Huidevettersplein (former headquarters of the tanners and skinners) for lunch.
(I had a fish soup, just okay)
We left the square and turned the corner
to continue our exploring, including going inside two art museums full of famous Flemish painters. First, the Groeninge Museum.
The second was especially interesting as it was in a former hospital, Sint-Janshospitaal (St. John's Hospital). In addition to art, had displays of medieval medical equipment.
One highlight is the St. Ursula shrine, depicting St. Ursula's pilgrimage to Rome to see the pope, and returning home to be killed by Huns.
(The one above and below are paintings from when it was a hospital)
After that, we made a stop for hot chocolate and dessert at a tea room (a happy find).
The hot chocolate was steamed milk, and a big hunk of chocolate to mix in from the chocolate store across the street.
So good! With a cherry cupcake.
After the rejuvenating caffeine/sugar break, we continued walking, past chocolate stores and waffle stores
cutting through the Walplein,
on our way to the Begijnhof, a courtyard surrounded by homes once used by lay women who devoted themselves to God--the Beguines.
On our way out we saw swans, so we had to stop for pictures. Swans are a big deal in Brugges and have been for centuries (is it just that they are a sign of prestige and wealth, or is it a tale of murder and revenge cumulating in swans being keep as a reminder of Brugges bad deeds? Who knows...)
Next down to the Minnewater (Water of Love) with its bevy of swans.
We started meandering back towards our hotel at this point,
We ended up sitting on a bench for an hour or so, just enjoying the weather until it was time for dinner. We sat in front of one of the most famous canal views in town.
and just enjoyed the view and people watching (until it got a little bit chilly...but still beautiful!)