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Not Wasting A Minute In the Autumn of 2014 I decided to not go to school, not get a job, and not renew an apartment lease. Crazy? Fun? Scary? Yes, yes and yes. But it's time to take a bite out of the world before it chews me up and spits me out like a bad taste

In Bruges

BELGIUM | Friday, 29 August 2014 | Views [249]

On top of the bell tower

On top of the bell tower

I forgot to change my alarm clock from London time to Belgium time and didn’t wake up in time for the free breakfast this morning. Instead I just showered and talked to a few people in the common area before heading off to see some sights.  My first stops were the windmills outside of town (about 5 blocks away). They are the old Flemish type and have a nice park between them all.  Then I got a little lost after wandering around a bit, but in Bruges you are never really lost. The town is small enough that in a few blocks time you will see at least one person you know. If you’re both lost, then you keep going until you see a third person you know. Continue as required. In such a fashion, two of the Canadian girls and I were sitting on a canal wall having a snack after we figured our way to somewhere familiar. Shortly afterward they were headed to the train station and going back to Canada.

I made my way to the market square where there is a UNESCO heritage bell fort from the Middle Ages. The tower bell is set to use play 4 different songs and hour using old drum music. It is similar to the way a jack in the box plays music when you crank the lever. This one is much larger and uses counterweights to drive the drum. Climbing the very narrow and almost ladder like 366 step spiral staircase gave a nice view of the drums and bells on the way up.  The top of the tower provided a view of the entire city town and a few other squares just off the market square. The town hall square was set as my new destination, so I descended the tower. At the base of the tower there are gates to prevent more than 70 people being in the tower at any given time. This policy is for safety and is strictly enforced by the electronic system in place. When I hit the last step, the four Irishmen from the other night were just starting their climb. Well I suppose only three of them were starting. The last was stuck behind the gate waiting for somebody (aka me) to leave the tower. After a bit of grief and fun I released him and headed off to town hall square.

Being in Belgium I bought a waffle from the stand in the square and enjoyed it in front of the town hall. After soaking up the view it was time for a more substantial lunch. A supermarket sounded like the perfect place to grab something to bring back to the hostel. While eating a grab-and-go salad in the common room, I planned my next walk. The walk was good, but it did not end up being along the same route as planned. Somehow I made two left hand turns in an hour and found myself back at the hostel. I saw my friend Australian friend Mick having a beer at the bar and my learned Australian manners came back to me. I bought him another pint and went to join him. We hung out talking for a few hours and others we new joined up. Using our coupons from the hostel got us all some pizza for a decent price before exploring the town some more. It started to get late and I went to catch some sleep. This time I remembered to change the time zone on my alarm clock.

Tags: belgium, bell tower, bruges, waffle, windmills

 

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