In Bruges

The final day of the RIAS tour was an excursion to Bruges, a charming city that is Belgium’s “Venice of the North.” It is a testament to the wealth of the merchant class that flourished here in the 13th through 15th centuries, bringing in such art treasures as the “White Madonna.” The striking sculpture is one of the few masterpieces by Michaelangelo that can be seen outside of Italy.The best way to see Bruges is a canal boat ride, so here’s a look at some of the scenery. People were taxed based on the number of windows in their building, so some of the architecture reflects the removal of windows during hard times.Every turn in the canal revealed another amazing view.

Many thanks to Rainer Hasters for allowing my son Andrew to join us on the Bruges excursion. Next stop was the charming market square for lunch.
Andrew sampled a local brew that is served in a very unusual longneck glass, and was properly fueled for the climb to the top of the Town Hall tower for a magnificent view.