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Eurail day 22: In Bruges

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My first full day in Bruges and it was breathtaking, ornate, sumptuous, glorious… Each inhalation was like the best 2 or 3 seconds of my life.
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Side note not related to this photo: outside my Couchsurfing hosts window right now is a long line of students who I think we’re just being told in Flemish some ghost story about this building. Because when I appeared in the window, they saw me and got all perturbed. So I waved hello and they screamed in sheer terror. Cool! I am like the ghost haunting your nightmare.

Pretty sure some ex boyfriends would agree with that description.

Okay, back to the photosplosion.
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I cycled around Bruges all day. Koen, my Couchsurfing host, lent me his old-timey bike. It was great! I saw so many small spots and alleys and “alcoves and nooks and crannies” of Bruges that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
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I always say that bike riding is the perfect way to explore a city. Sometimes walking is too slow, and taking the bus is too fast. Plus, cycling connects you to the environment and you burn off all those Belgian chocolates.
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The swans are in freezing cold water but they keep warm by Bruges’ warm, glowing, warming-glow.
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The only suggestion worth spray-painting.
20121210-194327.jpgWhatever this means, I like it.

Okay, enough of this touristy stuff, let’s visit some filming locations from the movie In Bruges!

Warning: strong language in this post in the form of quoting the movie In Bruges. I have tried to write all the swear words phonetically as if an Irish person was saying them, but you will probably be able to figure them out. Apologies for any offence caused.

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The vismarkt is the fish market. You see it very briefly but pivotally in the end of the film when Harry finds Ray and starts chasing him through the streets. Ray runs through the fish market.
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Koen was telling me that the fish market is actually really old, like hundreds. That makes sense, now fish markets are erected on plastic collapsible stands. This is a portico-columned stone market!
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So glad there were no smelly fish guts about when I visited!
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They film a few scenes here in the Koningin Astrid Park, and talk about it quite a lot. Ken almost kills Ray here, then they have a chat, and Yuri talks about all the “alcoves” here when Ken and Harry each try to buy guns here.
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A great day this has turned out to be. I’m suicidal, me mate tries to kill me, me gun gets nicked and we’re still in fookin’ Bruges!”
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Yuri: There are a lot of alcoves in the Astridpark. You use this word, alcoves?
Ken: Alcoves, yes. Sometimes.
Yuri: Are you sure this is the right word, alcoves?
Ken: Alcoves, yes. It’s kind of like nooks and crannies.
Yuri: Nooks and crannies, yes! Perhaps this would be more accurate. Nooks and crannies rather than alcoves. Yeah!

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20121210-202246.jpgThis hotel is the place where Ken and Ray stay for the two weeks in Bruges, along with the owner Marie.

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Harry: Number One, why aren’t you in when I fookin told you to be in? Number Two, why doesn’t this hotel have phones with fookin voicemail and not have to leave messages with the fookin receptionist? Number Three, you better fookin be in tomorrow night when I fookin call again or there’ll be fookin hell to pay. I’m fookin telling you – Harry.
Ray: Jeez, he swears a lot, doesn’t he?
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I’m almost 100% sure this is the door for Raamstraat 17 (an address that doesn’t actually exist) where Yuri lives….almost sure.
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This is the restaurant where Ray and Chloe go on their first date and then Ray punches out the Canadian couple. I asked the bartender which seats they sat in and he graciously showed me, but they rearranged the seats and stuff since then.
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Canadian Guy: I don’t care if this is the smoking section, she directed right into my face! I don’t wanna die just because of your fookin arrogance!
Ray: [thinking the tourist is American] Uh huh, is that what the Vietnamese used to say?

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“What’s Belgium famous for? Chocolates and child abuse. And they only invented the chocolates to get to the kids.”
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The Belfry tower, which was constructed back in 1280! This features prominently in the film. Ray encounters the fat American tourists here, Ken encounters the ornery Tower ticket officer here, Ken is shot and later dies here, and they film a lot of scenes in the main square in front of the tower. I climbed the tower today. FOR THE RECORD, Ray was right, the view is rubbish and the ticket officer in real life is a mean old fart! He was very snippy with me. I almost said to him, “Happy in your work?” But that would have been just too rich.
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Overweight Man: Been to the top of the tower?
Ray: Yeah… yeah, it’s rubbish.
Overweight Man: It is? The guide book says it’s a must see.
Ray: Well you lot ain’t going up there.
Overweight Man: Pardon me? Why?
Ray: I mean, it’s all winding stairs. I’m not being funny.
Overweight Man: What exactly are you trying to say?
Ray: What exactly am I trying to say? You’s a bunch of fookin’ elephants.
[overweight man attempts to chase Ray around but quickly grows tired]
Ray: Come on, leave it fatty!

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Ken: Coming up?
Ray: What’s up there?
Ken: The view.
Ray: The view of what? The view of down here? I can see that down here.
Ken: Ray, you are about the worst tourist in the whole world.
Ray: Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn’t, so it doesn’t.

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Entry is €5.
Come on man, it’s only 10 cents.
Entry is €5.
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Ken: [Harry shoots Ken in the leg] Fookin coont!
Harry: Like I’m not going to do nothing to you just because you’re standing about like Robert fookin Powell.
Ken: Like who?
Harry: Like Robert fookin Powell out of Jesus of fookin Nazareth.
Share this quote
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I think I’m gonna die now.
20121210-203149.jpgAnd that was my day In Bruges and in Bruges.

Here’s how I spent my money today! Having a surplus in Western Europe is really saving my bum! Good thing I had enough good sense to start this journey in Eastern Europe! Check out my Eurail 2012 category for more posts about my Eurail.com journey thus far!20121210-204812.jpg

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