More Bruges photos

Frites Museum


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We decided to take in the Frites Museum. Here is some information that I captured for Natalia's
Dad Carl who has much background in agriculture. Carl, I thought you'd appreciate this centre
in Peru as you had previously mentioned a number of seed banks for cereals.


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They had actually made a fry cart in the museum.


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Natalia as the pretty fry


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and me as the big goofy one.


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Mmmm, two pouches of fries!

Choco Story - Chocolate Museum


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I'm such a sucker for these things. They make me laugh.


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The museum itself was actually quite interesting. I learned that the French aristocracy loved to
whip their chocolate drinks to make foam. Who would have thought the Starbucks had that many
years of history in catering to pretentious wienies who like foam? This is a demonstration
of how to make a praline - the Belgian word for chocolates with stuff in them.


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Here is Natalia looking back to the Belfort Tower, now a UNESCO heritage building. In Bruges though,
if you close your eyes and walk into something, it's likely UNESCO-protected.


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This is actually a 12th century hospital. Our boat tour guide tells us he was one of the last
babies born here since it shut down in 1987. Not bad to run for 800 years though.


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Another beautiful canal photo with the canal boat behind Natalia. This is right by the Begijnhof,
a home for semi-religious women who aren't quite nuns.


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This is outside the Halve Maan Brewery in Bruges, where I'm enjoying the Strong Henry, a light Belgian
ale coming in at 7% alcohol.


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We took the tour at Halve Maan Brewery and wandered through their operation. These are the levers
that make beer. Mmmm beer.


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This is a large vat for beer to sit in at some stage, but I don't remember.


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The brewery had bottles, cans, and signs from all over, including our home town of Calgary where
the good folks from Big Rock brew.


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Some more of the breweries that have representation at the Halve Maan.


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The view from on top the brewery.


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Natalia and I looking out onto the town of Bruges.


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Some of the many cans in the brewery's museum. I saw a Labatt Blue and some Molson Ex in here.


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Me, looking to try out whatever's coming out of the taps.


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The logo of the brewery - De Halve Maan = The Half Moon and they have been brewing for 150 years.


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Me trying the Brugse Zot. As the story goes, the king came to Bruges and the village decided to
have jesters and many merry-makers for the event. They then tried to ask the king for money for a
sanitarium to which he replied, "This city is filled with fools." There's no word about whether
the town got a sanitarium, but the beer is good.


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As we were walking back towards the centre of town to check out the Tintin store, it turns out
that the Tintin store was on fire. I took this photo though less for the fire and more for
this guy's mustache. Wow.


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Natalia went down this alley since she saw a sign that said "Cookies". It turns out that it's
actually the name of a restaurant.


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Here is Natalia though after finding her cookies (she was looking for more coconut macaroons).
This photo is taken in the Burg in front of the Stadhuis.


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Me with a very ornate church behind me.


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I found what I thought was a giant chocolate rice krispies square. It was okay, but not amazing.


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We finished the night by trying a few more beers. The one Natalia is holding is called
Dulle Teve from de Dolle Brewery in Esen. It translates to "Mad Bitch".


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This is the De Konincke. A pretty decent ale actually although a much less cool name than Natalia's.


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We have our snacks and beer and we're ready to turn in for the night.

Biking tour #2 - To the Belgian coast


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We decided to take another tandem bike tour, this time out to Blankenberge and the North Sea.
On the way out though, we saw this rooster out and running around.


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This sort of begs a joke about why the rooster crossed the road... Paul Dehaan, is this part
of your family tree?


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Natalia on the North Sea - in Blankenberge, Belgium with our tandem bike.


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While it's no Candle Lake or Hawaii, we decided to hang out on the beach and enjoy the local culture.
I brought this sundress back from Waterloo for Natalia too.


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We had a bite of lunch. Of course, I wore my new winner's jersey since I was always leading our
tandem bike.


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Natalia got a pair of Chacos before we left Calgary. We were both rocking out the Chaco tans
although they were nothing compared to my buddy Ross Segelken who normally has a mean Chaco tan
by sometime in March every year.


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Here is our first major mullet of the trip. I call this one the Ear Mullet. Natalia called it
Mulletor since she really couldn't handle this girl's hair.


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This guy was something else. Speedo, running shoes, and mullet. Wow, what do you say to that? My only
regret is that I didn't get a better close-up for the folks at mulletsgalore.com.


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Natalia looked in something like 30 bakeries to try to find another coconut macaroon and finally
I saw this one in the little beach town. Similar to the almond croissant, once she finds something
she likes, that's all she wants to look for.


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There are two things really funny about this photo. One is that I took it while I was biking on
the front of a tandem and I was actually biking right through a red light. The second, and the
reason that I took it, is because it shows that there's a town on the Belgian coast called De Haan
after my friend Paul De Haan.


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Natalia wanted to drive for a little bit so I decided to be the photographer of the team.
Here is a shadow photograph of us biking. The cool thing about riding on the back (and what
Natalia likes) is that you don't have to steer, control gears, or really anything other than pedal.


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Natalia and I on the tandem enroute back to Bruges.


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A few wind turbines north of Bruges. This gives a bit of an idea of the terrain.

Canal tour of Bruges


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We got back to Bruges just in time to catch the last boat cruise around the canals.


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We got someone in the canal to take a photo of us before the boat left.


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Natalia and some of Bruges' buildings from the water.


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Natalia and one of the oldest bridges in Bruges - only something like 800 years old.


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We saw a cute restaurant along the canal called 57 and decided to dine there for our last night in Bruges.
It was fantastic food and had a great view.


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Natalia took a shot of me at the restaurant. You almost can't see the yellow jersey under my sweater.


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We had the waiter take this one.


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This particular day was mullet day for me. This guy is something else. I love the flowing locks
for the party in the back. The shaved sides really add a lot too. In the Markt in Bruges.


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One of the coolest beer pubs in Belgium called 't Brugse Beertje


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Of all the beer signs to find inside by our table, I found a Fat Tire Amber (one of my favourite US beers)
beer sign from New Belgium in Fort Collins, CO.


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This is the beer menu. Seriously.


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Natalia tried the Delirium Tremens. It has pink elephants on the glass.


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Okay, so I've already documented my top 3 beers, but I guess I have to add this one anyway so I now
have a top 4 beers in Belgium - Orval, Westmalle Triple, Rodenbach, and finally the Rochefort 12.
What an excellent beer tour!


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I took this for my buddy Erik Olson. I didn't try this beer, but I thought the name was awesome.


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I also took this one for Erik since he loves gypsies. This was a live band in Bruges in the Burg.


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Natalia found single serve Ben and Jerry's at the night shop. She was slightly thrilled.


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One of the strong suits of our hotel was their unbelievable breakfast. Even though we left the Saturday
morning before they normally start the breakfast, they put the breakfast out early so that Natalia could
have one last morning croissant.


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While waiting to board the high speed Thalys train to Amsterdam in Brussels, we took a photo.


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It turned out that it was Amsterdam's Gay Pride weekend (of course it was). We saw more pink than I've
seen in a long time. This is a crew of guys walking into the McDonald's.


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We figured since the city was a mess of pink people and freaks running around that we'd get a better city
tour from the water. Well, it turns out that the focus of the Gay Pride party on the Saturday is a big
Boat Parade, so the tour was interesting as we tried to avoid the giant mess that the city's canals had
turned into as they awaited the floats. Here are Natalia and I hanging out in the boat.


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People waiting on the sides of the canals for the boat parade.


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This boat had a full-on dance party complete with a DJ spinning records. Really.


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This was a neat spot where you could see through 6 canals at the same time.


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We headed out to the harbor where the parade was waiting. This was the lead boat.


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A little blurry, but a shot of the rest of the parade.


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I thought this schooner was awesome. In Amsterdam harbor.


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Here's Natalia at Amsterdam airport looking good rocking out with her neck pillow.


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The last mullet I saw in Europe. This one was a little over the top but still funny.

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