Sunset over Bruges, Belgium
Submitted by Nikolaus Stuecklen

Dec. 11

Congratulations to Nikolaus Stuecklen of Portland, Ore., who captured the top-rated image in this week’s It's A Snap! travel photo contest.

Stuecklen snapped the winning shot at sunset in Bruges, Belgium, on an unseasonably cold day in April, 2008 while on an annual trip to Europe.

Stuecklen described Bruges as small and quaint, with astonishing Belgium-French cuisine, and “very sweet and warm” people.

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“There are almost no bad pictures to be taken in Bruges, which is a thoroughly charming city that retains all of its old-world medieval spirit and character,” he said. “An extremely pleasant place to visit, with fabulous people, great food and sights at every corner.”

“If you’ve seen the movie ‘In Burges’ (starring Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes) and got the impression that the movie portrays (it’s dark), that would be unfortunate,” he said.

In reality, “it feels like you’re transported into the middle ages. It’s like being in a fantasy world.”

A software engineer by trade, Stuecklen is also a self-professed travel addict — particulary Europe — and a member of photo.net, a worldwide community of amateur and professional photographers.

Stuecklen, the son of an Air Force man, moved around a lot as a child. Born in England, he has lived in Germany (Berlin and Hamburg), Madrid, California, Washington D.C., Nebraska, Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Vermont, and has settled in the Pacific Northwest.

Stuecklen’s winning photo was snapped with a Canon EOS 5D, and enhanced with Photoshop.

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