September 17, 2009
On a speed train about 20 minutes out of Paris, we caught up to the gray skies that snuck out of Bruges in the wee hours. Certainly, the Gods do this as a welcome mat for Portlanders.
Bruge contrasted from Haarlem as follows.
Bruge Market Square is more dramatic than Grote Market: Grander medieval buildings. Bruge is packed with foreign tourists, and there is the tourist infrastructure to meet it: the horse carriages and the menus posted around the square in 4 languages. (I wonder what "Lukewarm Salmon" was before it was translated?) Haarlem was great because we felt like we were one of very few foreigners. We liked that. Better to get the flavor of the town.
Bruge was a pleasant stop in the road, but I would not recommend it as a destination. I want to re-view the move "In Bruges" to see if it is an allegory for the screenwriter's love-hate with the town. There's the big bad guy, who thinks Bruge is this charming beautiful place that Colin Farrell should see before he dies. Then there's Colin's character, who hates the place, even before he knows that he was sent there to get killed.