Blogs from Belgium, Europe - page 2


Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres November 9th 2014

Wow - I am not really sure where to begin - today was such a full day - full of incredible experiences, and no doubt, amazing memories. We started our day at the Hooge Crater Museum and cemetery. This was our first taste of the realities of war and walking amongst the white tombstones really hit home with many of us. The cemetery (as they all do) has soldiers from many countries buried....they were buried where they died. I found a Canadian from Toronto. After Hooge we went to Hill 62 - a ridge that the Canadians used to defend the Ypres Salient in 1916. There is a memorial there to honour the Canadians. The Tyne Cot Cemetery was another moving visit to honour the fallen - many Canadians. Mr. Wotherspoon's great, great, uncle is buried ... read more

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges November 8th 2014

Thanks to Mr. Wotherspoon for reorganizing us into new groups so we can continue to get to know each other. We set out this morning in groups of 20 - each with a guide for a 31/2 hour walking tour of Bruges. The medieval history continues to impress me and I remain in awe of just how old this city is. We were told today that if the residents of Bruges from 1300 came back today, they could still find their way around - that is how well this city is preserved. The Chocolate Museum was a big hit and just so you know, white chocolate isn't chocolate..... It is amazing to really stop and take a good look at the buildings, there are many numbers, gargoyles, spires, cherubs, friezes, that tell so many stories and ... read more

Europe » Belgium November 7th 2014

After rehearsal we went to a yummy pizza place and had margherita pizza - it was delish. And we were throwing the football around the town square. Connor won jump catch! Then we had to race back to the hotel and get changed into #1. We were kinda nervous walking to the church. The church was really cool - this had things popping out of the wall. It was Huge church. Guests clapped as we started our procession into place - we felt famous. We handed out poppies to people who listened to us and thanked us in a different language. After the performance we visited The Madonna at another church. We then went to an amazing chocolate shop and tried lots of different treats! A great day for sure!! Connor Colfer and Steven Cook.... read more

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges November 7th 2014

If you listened carefully at 9:15 am (Toronto time) - you would have heard the lovely voices of the Choir as they began their first performance. There is no doubt that their gift was carried to the heavens today while we were at St. Salvator's Cathedral. Truly a goose bump moment. You should all be very proud of your family member and please know that they shared their talents in such a positive way today. We're all adjusting to the time difference and after tonight, I suspect we will all be on the right track. After the performance we all had a chance to explore Bruges - truly an amazing city. And just to be clear, there is a chocolate shop every 50 steps. My own personal experience has been with florentines and orange peel covered ... read more

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges November 6th 2014

Greetings from across the ocean (and a few countries!) - We had a great flight and very well-organized transfer to our buses as we made our way to Antwerp today. We stopped and enjoyed the history and culture (and some lunch - lots of mussels and fries were ordered!). When we are walking around the narrow alleys and cobblestone streets - you always see a red choir jacket and you realize just how big our group is! I bet between all of us with cameras - about 250 shots have already been taken. We hopped back on our bus and it was a great opportunity for a nap from Antwerp to Bruges - the busses were pretty quiet! Our hotel is lovely - all the modern conveniences but set in something from a medieval village. Dinner ... read more

Europe » Belgium » Limburg November 2nd 2014

Het is bijna zover morgen vertrek ik op mijn grote avontuur, SPANNEND hoor! Ik zal toch maar een klein hartje hebben in Zaventem als ik mijn laatste afscheid neem. Mijn vliegtuig zal opstijgen rond 9 uur 's morgens en tegen de middag (lokale tijd) kom ik aan in Miami. Mijn stagebegeleider zal me daar opwachten en mij naar men kamer brengen bij Clara, waar ik de komende 8 maanden zal doorbrengen. Het adres van de kamer is: 11911 Walsh blvb., Miami, FL 33184. NEXT BLOG: Miami Florida.... Bye for now, Désirée... read more

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 25th 2014

Brussels, with its untidy streets and messy construction sites, reminded me a lot of home. I was nevertheless disappointed by the shabby state of the city's public places. 'Had I made a mistake in coming here?' - the question rang through my head for the first few hours of a bleak saturday morning. But soon, the question was forgotten as I was immersed in the city's unique traditions, monumental tourist attractions and its addictive food. First off, I went straight to the jewel of Brussels, its Eiffel equivalent - the Atomium. Or so I thought. One thing I found very different and unhelpful in Brussels was the lack of tourist signage and in some places, the lack of simply any signs. It is almost impossible to find your way, even to a major tourist spot, without ... read more
Eiffel tower in mini-Europe with real-size Atomium in the background
Comics festival
Weekend at the Grand Place

Europe » Belgium October 8th 2014

 On Monday, August 11th, we left Paris and were off to Luxembourg, Luxembourg! We only had the afternoon there but enjoyed walking around the city. Luxembourg (the city) is divided into two parts, with a valley between them. The valley has a mixture of buildings (houses, restaurants, and shops) and nature, with trails and paths through the trees. We took an elevator from the top of the valley to the bottom and enjoyed walking on the small streets and then the dirt paths, where we could see only trees around us at times. We then met up with a guy from Couchsurfing who could not host us but offered to show us around. He took us down a different way than we'd gone before and pointed out the old walls and building remains in the sides ... read more
Luxembourg 2
Luxembourg 3
Luxembourg 4

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 7th 2014

7thOctober Day trip to Brussels. The long way round. Would’ve been quicker to go from Oosteand, but we really wanted to get further up the coast yesterday. So, we caught a tram from Zeebrugg to Knooke, then a train to Brussels. In Brussels we got on the red sightseer hop on hop off bus. The best way to see a city as an overview. That took most of the day, and then we had a little walk around the city centre. The market place was just amazing. Not because of the markets (there were none) but due to the massive, ornate buildings surrounding the square. We found the little Mannequin Pis – well not the original, that’s in the Royal Palace, but we found the replica. He’s been stolen by the French soldiers at one stage ... read more
uhmm...nice street
Royal Palace

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Zeebrugge October 6th 2014

6thOctober Ooestende to Zeebrugge 16nm Had a look at the tides, currents and weather situation for the next few days and decided that our original plan of going to Breskens on Thursday would not work as there is a double low tide on Thursday and that would not give us enough time to get up the coast before the currents were against us. So, late decision and left today. Also gets us out of the worst wind expected tomorrow. Pulled into the visitors pontoon and another boat that had just arrived took our lines. Had a chat and they were impressed that we had come ‘all the way from Australia’. One wants to do a circumnavigation so he was very keen for a chat. They had just come up from Oostende for a day sail, would ... read more
Bitterballen...dutch treat
Loving the lips

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