Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wealth, power, religion, beauty, chocolate, romance – A day in Bruges

It’s Sunday night at the end of a beautiful weekend. Getting out of Brussels and seeing a little bit of Flanders gave me yet another twinge of, “Yes I’m in Europe!” It was so incredible beautiful. The buildings feel like poetry as you walk along the canals everything wants to tell a story. The architecture speaks about wealth and power. The huge steeples above the churches and city hall are monuments to God and a symbol of wealth. I’m slowly beginning to understand the faction (opps, I mean pillar) system of government in Belgium. Everything had the symbols of Catholicism, but the gold leaf and extravagance were overt emblems of power. The steeples tower as feats of engineering, and no doubt stole lives of bricklayers who dared to acrobats. The residences and shops also showed off superiority inc. How can bricks do that? Hundreds of feet in the air above Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) the bricks form perfect arches and seem to bring the heavens into our reach.

Bruges is also full of canals and we took a boat tour. It was a great perspective of the city. The water ways can’t help but feel romantic as they push your through the city. You just look up at so much detail and history. The sun was shinning the whole day and it was about 55F. I wish I had a better word – perfect. We also went to a beautiful little back ally tea house for lunch. It was my first restaurant meal in Belgium and was so good. I had a giant plate of Flemish sweat Beef stew and mash potatoes. It was an excellent treat. Eating in Europe is an experience. I love sitting for long meals with new people. It is a civilized pass time to say nothing else. In America we eat like animals driven with efficiency.

I have so much more to say about Bruges, but I need to absorbed everything I saw first. Bruges is full of tourists and I just gave in and whipped out my camera. I took pictures of everything. I honestly was romanced by this little city. I’m doing well and am extremely relaxed after my weekend. I’m ready for my first full week of lectures to begin.

Smiles, peace, and love,
Amanda Mar

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