5/21/15

Now We Are in Belgium!

Hey everyone!  Hope your week is running smoothly.  I've been crazy-busy editing photos and have more to share.  Today we will be in Belgium!  Grab provisions, this is very photo-laden!

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges was very charming with its cobblestone streets and much like the setting for a fairytale.



I'm kind of obsessed with old doors and plan to do a collage of several that I found most interesting.

I think this one might even glow in the dark!


Swans are so pretty.

Bruges is known for its picturesque canals.

Never did get a definitive answer as to what those things are in the trees -- kind of looked like perches for photographers.

Thought these little houses were so pretty sitting in the curve of this street.

People going about their daily business.  In most places, motor vehicles are only allowed on these narrow streets for a short time in the mornings, just to make deliveries.

Bicycles are everywhere and pretty much rule the streets.  They all seem to be equipped with bells, and one ring is to alert you that you need to move over.  Two rings means "get the you know what out of the way!"

So serene.


This photo was taken in the early evening after many of the tourists had left.  Our guide told us that most of the tourists we encountered that day were on day tours, not staying overnight.

We joined up with some new friends for the evening.  What's the #1 thing you associate with Belgium?  Well, Belgium chocolate, of course.

The aroma of chocolate hit you before you ever walked inside.  The Chocolatiers always offer samples -- an unfair sales ploy if you ask me....lol!

Anyone for a light or dark chocolate rooster?  No, we didn't buy one of those, but we did make a few purchases which were very tasty!

This was the signage for a small antique shop.  Quick, alert the American Pickers!

Something else Bruges and most of Belgium is known for is their beers.  There was one brewery in Bruges that was supposed to be the best, so off we went with our friends to check it out.

A few days before our trip, a very dear friend of ours passed away.  This was the day of his memorial service, so we drank a toast to "George."  He would have really enjoyed being there with us.

You know we are "cat people," so this sign caught our attention as we headed back to our hotel.  It's a clothing store -- a fairly high-end clothing store from the window display.  It was closed, but I was much more interested in the sign.

Our hotel is there with the white columns, and was the least nice of any hotels we stayed in.

The grounds were pretty at least!

Early the next morning we were on the road to Brussels.  Here we picked up a special guide for a city tour of Brussels.  Most of our guides were quite good, but the one we had here must have lived a previous life as a Gestapo officer.  Let's just say she didn't get very much in tips.....just sayin'.

We started off here at the Atomium, the center attraction of the 1958 World's Expo.  It really is quite impressive, as are the grounds.


Who knew palm trees could grow in Belgium?


We managed to be here several minutes ahead of other tour groups, so it was nice to take photos without a ton of strangers in your shot.  Here's my BFF and best travel companion ever!

Can you see it?  Yep, those are the "Golden Arches" of McDonald's!  
That is just wrong on so many levels.  

Brussels was teeming with lots of tourists and many locals just trying to go about their business.

Sometimes I could actually get a shot up and over the top of heads.  That dark cloud did give us a good drenching, but we found a cozy little tavern to grab a bite to eat and wait out the rain.

The tavern owners had quite a good sense of humor, so The Man had to snap a pic!

Is it even appropriate to follow that with a visit to a cathedral?

I just had to share this -- better bring your own chair cushion and kneeling pad if you have much to atone for here in this church....like maybe spending way too much time in that taverns' men's room!

Well, you know, glamming it up with gold is on trend right now!




The flowers were amazing!


Very busy town square.

Hustle, bustle Brussels......sometimes I just crack myself up!

From Brussels we motor coach our way to Amsterdam and.......

"The Sound of Music," Gate 1's 
river boat -- our oasis for the next 7 days!

To be continued........

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