Monday, June 7, 2010

A Madonna and Bicycles


So, I promised pictures of the Madonna in Brugge.  She's a Michaelangelo - reputed to be the only one that left Italy during his lifetime - and she's lovely. Not very big though.

 You can't get all that close to her, and I couldn't use a flash, so she isn't as well photographed as I would have liked, but you can still get an idea of her beauty. Seeing the works of great artists in person really makes you appreciate them more - especially when you have been surrounded with their contemporaries who are not so great. Vermeer was like that. Before we went on the trip I knew the name Vermeer, and I had seen pictures of his paintings, but by the end of our museum going on the trip, I could really appreciate his use of light, his colors, his settings. So much better than endless pictures of men in ruffs...

We arrived in Brugge on Sunday afternoon. On Mondays, all the museums in town are shut. So, we took a bike ride to Damme, and then tried to find the North Sea. The ride to Damme was easy, once we found the right street and got out of town proper. It was like riding on the Erie Canal path.

The canal is to the left, hidden by the blooming plants. It was an easy ride, mostly flat, on our own path. The bike seats were a little bit too hard, but otherwise, they were in good shape.


We even saw a windmill.  Then, after we ate our picnic lunch in the shadow of the windmill, we decided to follow the signs along the Nord Zee route. A route we figured would take us to the sea, since we had seen a sign in Brugge saying it was only a 40 minute bike ride away. The path seemed promising - heading in the right direction, and passing through farms and country lanes... But it never did get us to the sea. After biking for quite a while, getting very sore, er, delicate areas, we gave up and followed the signs back to Brugge. Ah well. It was a lovely day, and the countryside was worth the trip.

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