Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weekly Winners, Christmas in Bruges

Bruges. If you visit Belgium, you'll more than likely visit this town.
But to me it's the town where I was born.
I left Bruges to move to Antwerp when I was 23, but she's still in my heart.
I love this town, more and more each year...
Now let me show you what Bruges is all about...

Tiny streets and little alleyways.
There is a little personal history to this spot. I used to come here every day.
The door on the right is the back door to the shop where I used to work when I was eighteen years old. I used to park my bike there, go into the shop from the main street and open the back door from the inside. One day I was running late I forgot to put it inside, and my bike got stolen.

Lace shops.
A friend of the family owned one, and we used to work there on holidays and weekends.

The canals ...
They used to smell terribly when I was young, it was horrible.
Boats crammed with tourists always made us snicker.
But they know better now, the water is healthier, there's even fish in them nowadays.
And the tourists no longer need a clothes pin on their nose to survive the boat trip!

People call it Venice of the North.

I think it's so pretty ...

Oh, and the houses look like cute little gingerbread houses ...

with crow-stepped gables. I love them ...

Respect for what's old and keeping it authentic is what makes Bruges so charming and unspoilt.
Bruges still looks like a fairy tale town to me, look ...

Yes, I know, I have already published this picture,
but that was on Christmas day, and I don't think many of my readers saw it.
I had fun playing with some layers and an eraser tool on my photo shop program.
Click here if you want to know how to do it.

The Christmas lights in the streets.
They still make my eyes sparkle, even though I'm not a kid any more!
I hate it when they take them down again, and only darkness remains.
That's why I could not resist posting them, even though I know they're not my best pictures.

Click on the banner to visit Lotus and the other Weekly Winners participants.
But wait ...
Don't leave just yet!

This is my photo of the day.
I was trying to create "bokeh" after I read this tutorial.
This is what came out of it.
I'm not there yet, but at least it's a start?