After breakfast and a briefing by your Program Director, set off with us on a walking tour of Bruges, capital of Flanders and a city still defined by its canals. Dating from the 13th century, Bruges is a living museum and a treasure trove of fine architecture. From the 13th to the 15th centuries, Bruges was the most important trading center of northern Europe, based largely on its thriving wool and textile industries. You’ll see signs of this mercantile history in the beautiful houses built by wealthy textile merchants.
Your walking tour takes you to Church of Our Lady and to Market Square, with its distinctive belfry tower and carillon of 47 bells. You also see the Holy Blood Chapel. Your tour continues with a look at Bruges from another vantage point—a tour aboard a canal boat. Then you’ll visit a lace shop to see some of the world’s finest lacemakers at work. You’ll enjoy some free time to have lunch on your own and to explore independently.
After the tour, return to the hotel and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. If you like, you can remain in town for shopping and independent explorations.
Or, join us this afternoon and evening for an optional excursion to Flanders Field, a museum commemorating World War I. We travel to the city of Ypres, now known as the “City of Peace,” and visit the interactive Flanders Field Museum. Accompanied by a local guide, we’ll learn about the Great War and then tour the battlefields. After dinner at a local restaurant, we’ll visit the Menin Gate Memorial and listen to the buglers from the local fire brigade who play there every night in remembrance of those lost in the war. The cost of this optional excursion includes dinner.
Spend your evening at leisure in Bruges. There are many fine restaurants in the area and your Program Director can help you pick a good one.