Bruges, the small Venice of the North

Bruges, Belgium, "the small Venice of the North", where I spent a lot of time, as a little girl not always happily visiting museums, then shopping and eating mussels as a teenager, then later on trying all its beers, then having the "parents-meet-the-transatlantic-parents-in-law" and finally a little while back with my mother and sister.

Early morning market at the square with the Belfry (Belfort) towering over a bi-weekly market.

Just off the Blinde-Ezelstraat (which translates to "Blind-Dunkey street") on the Groenerei canal boats are waiting to embark on a spectacular tour through the city which we did later that day.

View from the boat on the Verversdijk, a 13th century street.

Colorful store entirely devoted to my most favorite exquisite fruity candy called "neuzen" (noses) or "cuberdons".  They are only available in Belgium.  

City Hall and Old Civic Registry (a pearl of Flemish Renaissance) photographed, to the bewilderment of a little child, lying flat on the Burg Square.

Interior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a church and pilgrim site, built in the 12th century.

The facades on houses in Bruges are spectacular.  In Dutch there are specific words for all the different facades but I'm lost in the translation. Let's try:  shoulder facade, snapped twin facade, stairs facade, neck facade, clock facade, point facade, frame facade, spout facade.  

The building on the right seems to be a combination neck, frame and stairs facade.

Aside from the many (as in really many) chocolatiers, there seem to be an similar amount of interior decorating boutiques.  This photo shows the reflection of the beautiful houses in an equally beautiful store window.

Back to the market square at dusk looking for a nice place for an aperitif!