The next time you go to Europe, and if you haven't already been, you have to go to Bruges.
After watching the movie, L and I felt compelled to take a day trip to Bruges (or Brugge, in Flemish). It was supposed to take around a total of six hours by train to travel to and from Bruge, but because of some (unannounced!) track work in the southern Netherlands, it took way more than six hours.
Fortunately Bruges is impossibly beautiful, and the ten or so hours on the uncomfortable second class train seats seem worth it. (But we're never doing that again!) There was not one scene that was not picture worthy - to my eyes the colors of autumn complemented the amazingly well-preserved historic center.
Bruge, like Amsterdam, Delft and the other cities in the lowlands with canals call themselves the "Venice of the North". As to which city truly deserves the title is a debate I leave to other people, but I do like riding them canal boats! We rode a boat like this one on the River Dijver:
Here are some medieval houses on the Markt, a market square that dates back to the thirteenth century, and is still used as a market place today:
Here's the Stadhuis, the town hall, which was built in the twelfth century:
If you've seen the movie (and this spoils it if you haven't), this is the Belfort, where that other guy jumped off to warn Colin Farell's (swoon!) character about Ralph Fiennes's (swoon!) character:
L and I also accidentally stumbled upon this Beguinage, where spinsters and widows once lived in order to devote their lives to prayer without taking any formal religious vows. Ironically enough, its now a monastery for the Benedictine sisters, and a UNESCO world heritage site:
And of course, some pictures of autumn: