Brugge & Oostende
Brugge, which has somehow managed to survive with about 8000 Renaissance, Baroque and later era buildings in the city center intact, is now heavily dependant on tourists for its income. It reminded me a bit of Cape May. This picture shows some Christmas ornaments and crafts from Germany.
It was Bank Holiday in England. Belgium is a short hop across the Channel from England and Brugge is a short hop from the coast (at Oostende and Zeebrugge), so Brugge was filled with English tourists, many of whom apparently tried to look like the Queen Mum. Most of them were women.
Picture - Brugge (Brughes, if you're being French) has windmills, at least three. They were used to grind grain and, I think, in the cloth trade (probably for fulling. There is a Fullingmill Road in Cape May County.). These factories, for that's what they were, were the high technology of the day when they were built. They were largely automatic; the miller made sure that the raw materials went in the right place and that the finished goods came out at the right place. He also made sure that the windmill didn't run away with itself in a wind because that meant fire. If the sails went around too fast, friction built up. Friction causes heat to built up and heat just loves wood.
One of the main canals, now devoted mostly to tourist traffic. The buildings lining the canal were originally businesses, warehouses, offices, and homes for the owners of the businesses. Now they are shops and very expensive apartments. The railings wouldn't be up in the old days when barges had to unload directly onto the streets.
Oostende is a beach town but not quite like our beach towns (Wildwood, etc.) but not quite unlike them either. Oostende has one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Belgium (if you can actually compare these beauties).
The Quay (like a stone boardwalk) at sunset looking from the St. Malo Cafe. It was chilly because of a wind off the North Sea (in the background, looking towards England) but the quay was crowded with walkers. The quay is several miles long, has a casino (under reconstruction), theaters, many good resturaunts, homes, apartments, and shops. It is like a high class boulevard with a boardwalk, beach and ocean.