"The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown."
- René Magritte
And so Alex had to be in Paris for a week, and happily managed to carve out another week on the backside for us to kick around somewhere. I talked him into Belgium. I took Eurostar (for the first time!) out of London Waterloo, underneath that little Channel thingy, and into Brussels. Alex took the TGV from Paris Gare du Nord, arriving same place and time. Pictures, movies, and intermittent commentary follow.
We were slightly disappointed not to see any crossbows.
Back for siesta but I went out alone for a bit, mainly to try and find a birthday gift for Alex, who was to turn really old the next day. It was such a lovely day, and I was feeling in such fine fettle, that I took this photograph to celebrate my fettle.
Dinner at one of the half dozen or so (toursist-orientated) restaurants that flank the Markt. We were to discover that, while Bruges bills itself as sort of relaxing, preserved, sleepy medieval town where you can stroll the canals in peace; in fact, it's Belgium's number one tourist destination, and really a bit of a holidaymaker-overrun gingerbread village. After a day or so, we enjoyed it a lot more by A) throwing away the guidebook (which we finally realised was just leading us to the very heart of the tourist scrum, and also the very heart of all the crap chi-chi shops in place to sell crap to the tourists); and B) going out after nightfall, when the day-trippers had left, and the pensioners gone to bed.
One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a set of statues outside a museum which sadly had all its Magrittes in storage.