More Yarn Will Do The Trick

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The medieval magic of Bruges - Part 2



We were up bright and early next morning for a big buffet breakfast of fruit, yogurt, toast and of course,  cheese - all washed down with several cups of Earl Grey. Doesn't sound very Flemish I know, not much different from what I normally eat, except for the cheese, but the ambiance was different, making  it all seem very European.
This one was advertising a knit expo
The streets were bustling with locals going to work, with a sprinkling of tourists taking photos and window shopping.  I felt immediately at home as, like York, Bruges is a city of many bikes, some of them beautiful works of folk art, adorned with flowers and found objects.
Stadhuis
We quickly found ourselves in the Burg square, where the majestic Stadhuis (townhall) dominates  one whole side and more.  We were wondering why the square was full of vans and horses, with riders in medieval garb, and jumped to the conclusion it must be some sort of pageant.
Yours truly finding out more
However, it transpired that it was all part of the filming of The White Queen, a ten-part dramatisation of Philippa Gregory's book of the same name, starting next autumn in the UK. This epic saga tells the rich tale of love and loss, seduction and deception, betrayal and murder - so what's new? - through the lives of three dynamic yet different women, as they scheme and manipulate behind the scenes in their quest for power in the Wars of the Roses.
You could easily see why Bruges was chosen as the backdrop, with its enchanting turreted buildings and cobblestone squares - and ever more apparent when we went inside the Stadhuis, with its fabulous vaulted ceilings, gilded figures and wondrous paintings.
Pre-Raphaelite triptych in the Stadhuis
Inspiration everywhere, how many sweater designs can you spot in this?
Griffin doors
Vaulted ceiling
Lutenist
This is how I imagined a scene from The White Queen to be
When we walked across the Burg the next day, it was as if someone had waved a magic wand and in place of the BBC vans were those of the market traders.

The fish market
Local honey
By this time it had started to drizzle and P stopped to peruse a woolly hat stall, setting up in the Christmas market in the adjacent square.  The market didn't open for a couple of days, but we got chatting to the owner, and P fell in love with a felted wool hat and sure enough the deal was done. A stylish topper to keep the rain at bay.
Très suave, don't you think?
Final instalment includes yarn stores, glorious autumn colour along the canals, my fabulous new boots and our musical evening with friends at the Stadsschouwburg Theatre ... Don't go away!

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