Sunday, 6 June 2010

Back from France and Belgium

You may have noticed that I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front, as in not visiting anyone of late... Well, that's because I have been away for just under two weeks. I have just returned from staying with relatives. The last couple of posts were scheduled and I was relieved to see that they worked. I checked them a couple of times at an Internet cafe in France and Belgium.

I didn't take many photos in France, too busy catching up and spending quality time with my family. However, when we visited Bruges (Belgium) I was just like a tourist, snapping away! Even though I already have a lot of photos of Bruges as I go there two or three times a year, I always enjoy taking more. I love the architecture!

I can't recommend visiting Bruges highly enough, I never tire of going there.

Although it is a popular city, you can easily find places where you can get away from the crowds. Here, we found a quiet spot and sat on a bench overlooking this view whilst eating a freshly made waffle.

Heading to the Beguinage (Begijnhof), a very peaceful place where a group of Benedictine nuns live. I go there on each of my visits, I find it a special place. The Church and Museum are worth visiting.

Alan took some photos which he photo stiched in to a panorama

Votive candle which I bought in the Beguinage shop.

On our way to the Internet cafe we found several shops selling vintage and second hand things. Unfortunately some of them were closed. I did manage to buy a few things though ;-)

Through the Kruispoort City Gates (shown above), we discovered some windmills right by a canal.

View from the first windmill, it overlooks the city centre

Market day is a colourful affair. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to flowers, fruit & vegetables, local produce and food to eat on the go.

A visit to Bruges wouldn't be complete without going to this shop, De Ark van Zarren. It is filled with beautiful fabrics, bed linen, kitchenware, scented products, a selection of vintage items, quilts etc...

Oh dear, Alan doesn't quite look as enthusiastic about this shop as I do...

For photos of Bruges in 3d click HERE (Need to be viewed with red & cyan glasses)

Back to France...

My next post will be about some of the vintage finds which I brought back with me. The car was packed on the return journey!

Meanwhile, I have a lot of unpacking, washing and catching up with emails, blogging and comments....

A bientôt!

Isabelle X


Guenievre said...

Bonjour Isabelle,
quel beau séjour vous avez passé ! Bruges est une ville qui m'a toujours "attirée", mais je n'y suis pas encore allée. Mon mari a eu la chance de visiter la ville il y a quelques années. Je pense que nous y séjournerons un jour.
La boutique a l'air bien sympathique ... que de belles choses à l'intérieur.
Bonne fin de week-end !

Unknown said...

LOL!!! Poor Alan.....NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

Your pictures are just that last push!!! I've heard from lots of people that Brugge is GREAT! So now I'm gonna show my hubby and make sure we go there this summer!!!!!

thank you!!!


WinnibriggsHouse said...

What a beautiful tour! Your photographs are wonderful. We are hoping to get to Bruges in September so I will check back here to make notes before we go. That shop looks very interesting.

The French Bear said...

Isabelle, what a lovely trip you must have had, beautiful and gorgeous scenery and very nice weather........wonderful! I love the shot of your hubby outside the store....why do all men look like that when we take them shopping? He he....cute!
I can't wait to see what else you have in your suitcases!!!!
Margaret B

Jess said...

It looks like a beautiful place and so sunny too! I love those steep rooves (roofs?) I look forward to seeing your vintage finds!xx

KC'sCourt! said...

What a lovely holiday you all had.
Last time I went to Bruges I was 11years old and on a school trip and didn't appreciate the place. Now I wish I could go back
Julie xxxxxxx

Lululiz said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful two weeks! I love your photographs, you visited some lovely places. Now please hurry up and show us your vintage finds ;-)

Madelief said...

Hi Isabelle,

I enjoyed your photo's of Brugge very much. It looks like you had beautiful weather. We have been to Brugge several times and enjoy the town very much. It it so pitoresque! I am glad you had a good time with your family!

Wish you a good new week!

Lieve groet, Madelief

Hearts Turned said...

Good morning, Suzy, and welcome home! What a beautiful trip you had! Such lovely photos--I'd love to go there someday...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Annie said...

Bruges looks beautiful, you are right about the architecture. I can't wait to see all your vintage finds.
Ann x

Pea Green Kitty said...

The weather looked perfect for you, Bruges looks a beautiful place, I really must add it to my list of 'places to go'.
You took some lovely pictures!
Cant wait to see the acquisitions!!!

vintage mum said...

Welcome back, your pics brought back happy memories for me, my husband and I had a lovely weekend there when we first got married.
Cate x

Mary Ann said...

thanks for sharing the photos, looks like you had a great time! have a great weekend...verbena cottage

Sylvia said...

I know, Isabelle, Bruges is so beautiful !
And De Ark van Zarren is a lovely shop, I'm looking forward to see your finds.
You've taken gorgeous photos !
Nice week,

Fleurette said...

Bonsoir chére Isabelle, Votre photos sont trés superbe et intéressants!!!
Belle soirée et nouvelle semaine

VintageWantsNotNeeds said...

I agree totally with you Bruges is such a lovely little city, very easy to get around with something interesting to see around every corner. As for that shop - lush... I love the way it look so small from the outside but is like a tardis when you get inside and jam packed with lovely household items.

Isabella said...

De Ark van Zarren is mijn favoriete winkel in Brugge. Ik ben er gisteren weer naartoe geweest. Ik kan echt alle weken naar die winkel gaan.
Bedankt om mijn eigen blog te volgen

Groetjes Isabelle

Jenny said...

Hi, I also love Brugges, live a hour and a half from there in Zeeland, NL. You have a beautiful blog. I visited your country last fall and want to go back. Glad I foun you.

BusyLizzie said...

Pleased to hear that you had a lovely time away. I have not been to Bruges since I was at Junior school, but I still have happy memories. xx

Victoria - Florence and Mary said...

It looks beautiful!

Victoria xx

Andi's English Attic said...

Oh the washing, the washing!
Glad you had a lovely time. Welcome home. xx

Clare said...

I never tire of your photos..they always give me a real sense of your days out. What a wonderful place.

All things nice... said...


Looks like you had a wonderful time, what a pretty place with fabulous heritage! I must look at a map of France to see where it is located. Looks like you had nice weather too.

All things nice...

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

What a wonderful trip! It looks as if you had a great time! Thank you for sharing all these delightful photos with us...I feel as if I have been there....such a beautiful place!
:) Looking forward to your vintage finds...

Beck said...

I'm SO jealous! It looks like you had a wonderful trip, how fun. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photo's, they have brightened up my day xo

Fågel Blå said...

Hello Isabelle!
oh so many beautiful photos!!!!!!
And thanks for you sharing them with us!
Have a nice week!
many hugs from me!

LiLi M. said...

Oh I love Brugge! It is perhaps the most beautiful Flemish city! You should go there when there are the 'Zandfeesten'! Love your photos!

Passione Helena said...

What a nice break, with beautiful weather!

The beautiful design of the buildings. There you can still really enjoy it. I can therefore imagine that you always want to return. I see you also enjoy your shopping experience. Besides the hydrangeas on the market were really cheap!

I enjoyed your beautiful pictures. Unfortunately I can not view 3D.

Have a nice week
Dear greetings, Helena

Vera Amos said...

Wow, I would love to go to Brugge its definately on my wish list of a place to visit, just have to persuade the family. Whats the drive like? and which port in france do you drive from? I am a complete 'geographical' dunce. Can't wait to see what you have purchased.
Nicky x

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Isabelle,
I can't see the pic of Alan, sadly as our old dial up laptop is not working. I shall have to come back and have a peek when we get our Broadband this week. Aren't you clever to set your posts in advance? I enjoyed your photos greatly. The church where the nuns are looks serene and I loved your Mary statue and votive candle.
Have a good day! xx

Country Style Living said...

Bruges looks really lovely! Love the beach hut photo, look forward to seeing your finds.....

Louise said...

I'm so glad to see you back, lovely photos xxx

Hesta Nesta said...

Hi Isabelle
What stunning architecture - I have never been to Bruges, but my Mum has and she absolutely loved it there - I can see why. That shop looks to die for.
Jo xx

Unknown said...

Sounds and looks like a wonderful place to visit, will put it on my list, which is getting very long indeed!!! Love the pic of Alan looking really bored HAHA!!Glad you had a lovely time. Have a great weekxx

die Waldfee Moni said...

Hi Isabelle,
your Blog is fantastic.
And beatiful pictures.
Moni,die Waldfee

Monica said...

Yummy shop! Can't wait to see what you purchased!
Love the last shot.

Shirleyanne said...

Just love your photos of Bruges. One of my very favourite places. Lived in Holland for a few years, situated close to the Belgium border, so Bruges was a much frequented place. Wonderful!
Looks like you had a lovely holiday!

Rosie said...

Lovely photos! Bruges is a place I've always wanted to visit but have never had the chance so it was wonderful to see it through your eyes, thankyou:)

hens teeth said...

Beautiful and very interest post Isabelle...always a joy. x

Dogwood said...

The building are so beautiful. The scenery is lovely. What a fun two weeks you must have had in such a wonderful place. Welcome home.

Looking forward to your next post of goodies.

Hugs, Cory/Dogwood

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Love your piccies of Bruges. It's one of my favourite places. I'm very partial to Ghent too (it has a fantastic vintage wallpaper shop). We've also stayed (camped) in Ypres. Really enjoy your blog - so much so that I am now your newest follower! BW.

OhSoVintage said...

Wonderful photos. I've never been to Bruges. Looking foward to seeing what you brought back from France.
Ruth x

Les Cotrions said...

Welcome back Isabelle and thank you so much for this stunning reportage!!!! I've been in Bruges hen I was tooo young...I must cvome back!
A nice day to you!

Julia said...

hello Isabelle!

I feel like I have had a little holiday looking at your photographs! They are really beautiful, and thank you so much for sharing them. Bruges is somewhere I have always longed to go, I have only ever been to Brussels before but also found that to be a beautiful place and the architecture so lovely.
Im happy to read you had such a nice time away, its lovely to have you back though!

Much love, Julia

ps - thank you so much for your kind message on my blog today, to discover your thoughtful words today has helped immensley! Bless you for them.

J x

The Cloth Shed said...

What lovely pictures...the shop looks just my kind of place. Intrigued to see what you have brought back with you...
Julie x

Kissed by an Angel said...

Bruges looks beautiful, I have wanted to go there for ages!! Hope we can get there soon. I can't wait now I've seen the photos!!

June said...

When the first picture came up I thought 'Oh yes! Isabelle's taking me touring again!!!' I love to see all the wonderful places you see. What a great trip and your pictures make me wish I could have been there. I am sure that the time with your family was a gift, but your post here is a gift to me. So many lovely things to see.

Vera Amos said...

Thanks for your comments still desperately trying to create some more stock, only so many hours in the day.
Nicky x

shirley said...

I ony visited Bruges once and that was for a very early morning flea market and I left and was back on the road by 9am. I can`t believe I missed such beautiful sights! I definitely have to go back soon.

Flaviana said...

Dear Isabelle
I'm so glad you're back!!I kind of missed your beautiful posts and in fact this new one is brilliant! What a fantastic holiday! You know what,I've always wanted to visit Bruges and now more than ever.
Needless to say, I can't wait to see what you've bought while away!!
xxx Flaviana


Hello Isabelle!
I am so glad you have found my blog!Flaviana is wonderful, isn't she?
I'm a big fan of your blog: it's a couple of months I am following your blog and I have so much enjoyed your "under the stairs" reading corner renovation!
You've created a "Heaven" corner there.
I think I left a comment on that post...but I am not sure!
Hope to see you around from time to time.

Unknown said...

Hi Isabelle! what a wonderful post! thank you for this amazing tour!!! I've just discovered your blog thanks to Flaviana! and also I enjoyed so much the Devon post, as I have lived there for a while and Devon is in my heart!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh mon Dieu.....I am going to have to follow you! Thank you for coming by my blog! You have a stunning world and that header of yours; it reminds me of my own home! THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND ALLOWING ME TO FOLLOW YOU BACK! You have a lovely, lovely blog! You will see me in the near future! Thanks, Suzy! Anita

Anonymous said...

Dear Isabelle,
I like your blog and the way you write.
I will continue to read regularly:)
Visit my blog I believe you will like it and that you too will become my friend Google:)

Regards from the Croatian
Zondra Art

It's me said...

Beautiful trip you have had..........wowww!!

Have you get my mail???

Beautiful day..hugs from me............

Anonymous said...

Belgium looks so beautiful! We hope to visit there in the following year! You pictures of the market are my favorite as I cannot get enough of them!

Take Care and I look forward to seeing your vintage treasures!


Enitram said...

Une jolie promenade à Bruges! Tu me donnes envie d'y aller ilico presto!!!!!!
A bientôt, merci pour ton gentil com!

donna baker said...

What a life you live Isabelle. I thought the photos were stunning. My favorite part of blogging is to follow people around on their trips by way of pictures. Love the blog and thank you for finding mine! Donna

Unknown said...

Wonderful pictures! It looks like you had the most fabulous time! XO!

A time to dance said...

I am so excited, we are going to Bruge in 8 weeks on our way down to southern Germany, I got my kitchen curtains from that fabric shop...we go quite a lot, its so lovely, will try and cisit some of the places that you suggested...cant wait to see france, our favourite place...

Leah said...

Wow looks like you had a great time! These pics are so pretty!

desde my ventana said...

A beautiful post,I enjoy specially images from Brugges,I love this town,

Elaine said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to visit Belgium someday.
I've been to France but only once and I'd love to go back.

The canal, the architecture, the markets, oh you are so lucky to visit every year!

Thanks for following my blog!

Rumour has it said...

We are lucky to live near Bruges (only 10 minutes by car) and we never can get enough of that city. Beautiful pictures!
Best regards, Marjolijn

Bobo Bun said...

Thanks for sharing your shots of Bruges, can't wait to see your finds - a car full of them sounds very exciting.

I have fond memories of Bruges as it was there on a work trip with 6th form students that I realised I was prett head over hells about the Head of the Media dept. I married him a year later so it all ended happily ever after.


Mary Ann said...

just dropped by to say hi to you. have a great weekend! verbena cottage

Unknown said...

That's it. I'm going back now for sure. Forgot just how cute that time square was. I'm guessing there will be a little Belgium beer around here tonight, as you got my tastebuds thinking.

Kate-The Garden Bell

Simplement ... said...

Tu as photographié Brugges d'une exceptionnelle façon !
Je retrouve toutes les émotions et les odeurs de cette merveilleuse ville conkoloque j'ai visitée il y a 2 mois.
Très beau week-end.

Loveforpiemonte said...

I love Bruges, did you see the dog in the window???

Simplement ... said...

conkoloque !!!
Je ne comprends pas (rire)
... que j'ai visitée stp.
Belle journée.

Catherine said...

I LOVE Bruges, i hope to go there soon! love all your finds, you're lucky!!! catherine (love your blog!)