Bruges is known as the Venice of the North, but the combination of canals and crow-stepped gables made it feel more like revisiting Amsterdam and the start of my transitional photographic road trip. In its calm friendliness, it also reminded me of Ljubljana.
Bruges was my last stop before returning to the UK after 30 days and 6,500km. Its medieval centre is a World Heritage Site and I very much enjoyed exploring the organic network of streets and canals. As I walked, I considered what I had gained and learned from travelling by myself for the past month. My first thought was of the Alps and Glorenza and a small poster that I had found attached to a bollard beside the Church Gate, which read – “If you want to be happy, be…”
I had the opportunity in my solitude and the contemplation of photography to see that it is not what I do but how I am that is important. That it was possible to let go of my future self and the various roles that I had been playing and simply be present. However, as I stood waiting for the sunset in Bruges’ Markt, I also recognised the challenge that this would provide. Could I really stop striving and resisting? How could I avoid seeing this as passivity?
I wondered if I still needed to travel. Perhaps I could take the constant tourist’s calm detachment and curiosity to London. Although I had reached the end of this trip, I resolved to continue my blog as I travelled with work and otherwise, if I found something worth sharing.
It has certainly been wonderful to return to photography and a pleasure and privilege to share this and my thoughts with you. Thank you very much for reading.
Regarding the photographs below, the first is of buildings on Markt, and the second a canal view from Bonifacius Bridge, which appeared thoroughly medieval, but was built in early C20th. The third is the famous 83m high Belfort Tower, built in 1240 and the last shows the neo-gothic facade of the Provinciaal Hof.