Sunday, October 31, 2010

Belgian Weekend

We left bright and early Saturday afternoon for a weekend in Liege and La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium. :)  We had been there a few weeks ago already, but we hadn't gotten to visit the little town of La Roche-en-Ardenne that time, since it had been over run with tourists, and we didn't feel like pushing our way around to see things!

We got stuck in a traffic jam to start with, then the main highway was closed for construction, so we got shuffled off into a detour.  These two things put us about 2 hours behind getting to Liege from when we wanted to, but oh well, we had fun together.

We got settled into the room we had rented via and headed off into the city center to find some dinner.  The restaurant that the lady we were renting from recommended didn't have any tables open until about 9:30pm, and since we had eaten breakfast at 11, we had skipped lunch, figuring we'd get something early for dinner, so waiting till that late wasn't an option!  We found another little place that was semi French-Belgian food.  It was quite yummy! :)

There is a cathedral near the house we stayed in, so we walked over there to check it out, and you were supposed to be able to see city views, but it was partly under construction so you couldn't get to the areas for the good views.  The cathedral was still in use, we saw people going in on Sunday for services.

We then headed out to the town of La Roche-en-Ardenne to check it and the surrounding countryside out.  We came across the ruins of a castle from the Feudal Era.  Was very neat to see, even if we had to go up a very steep walkway to get there!

We then headed out to the countryside to see some colours of the leaves.  Was very peaceful and beautiful!

When we got back, and Aaron got to work Monday, it was decided that we would only be staying till the end of November.  So we'll be back States-side November 29th! :)

We are now packing and getting ready for our week in the Tuscan region of Italy!  I'll have my laptop with, and hopefully will be able to post pictures as we go along!

The balance of the Belgium pictures are located here. (at the end of the album)

Enjoy! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Staying in Amsterdam ...

So we found out late last week that Aaron's boss here in Amsterdam would like him to stay longer.

So we leave next Monday for our week in Tuscany, and then instead of coming back for a day to grab our bags and head to Portland, we are staying.  We'll be here for sure till the end of November, but there is a possibility that we'll be here till the years end as well.

It wasn't hard really to say that we'd stay.  Aaron is enjoying himself very much, going to all these different countries!  We went back to Belgium over this last weekend.  He hasn't gotten to see much of the tourist things in Amsterdam, but maybe now that he'll be here longer that'll change.

So, I'm sorry Karen, but we won't be able to make it for Thanksgiving dinner any more.  Next year? :)  Plus now you'll get to keep our car a little longer, once its functioning again, that is!

I'll put up some pictures from the weekend trip to Liege, Belgium shortly!

Have a great day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lately, gone quickly ...

It's been a bit since I've posted, but not much has gone on in the last week.

We headed up to Groningen on Saturday to visit with some of the family.  We headed north out of Amsterdam and crossed over the Afsluitdijk.  You can stop half-way across and see a monument they put up of the building of the dijk.

We visited with some cousins, who then took us out for dinner and a walk along a pier as the sun was setting.

We then headed over to another cousins house, where Aaron & I spent the night and the next morning.  We headed off from there place around 11am to head down to Germany, where Aaron had to meet with a customer on Monday.  We were halfway to our destination when I realized that I didn't take any pictures of the family.  {sorry guys :( }

Monday I did some shopping in the little German town we were in.  Tuesday morning we left early to go back to Amsterdam.  It has been raining here and getting colder, so I haven't gone out to much, hence the lack of pictures to show!

I did head out this morning to BeatrixPark and took some shots of the beautiful fall colours that are coming out here.

The rest of the pictures can be seen in this album.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thus far this week ...

Its been a pretty low key week for me, just relaxing and oh yeah, going to Germany, again. :)

Monday I went to a park and wondered around there, and realized when I got home that I had barely seen a 1/3 of it, if I was lucky ... so I might go back there tomorrow.

Tuesday I picked up the rental car and got Aaron from work around 12:30, and we then headed out to Germany again for him to see a customer.  I took the car on Wednesday and went "little town hopping". :)  I stopped in the little towns and saw the churches, and took pictures of them.

Thats about it...

I've added the pictures to the end of this album.  {After the windmill pictures)

This weekend we are heading up to Groningen area to visit with family.  :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our weekend adventure ~ England!

Matt & Karen headed off Friday morning for a weekend away in Brussels.  Aaron & I decided that we wanted to go someplace as well.  We tossed around the idea of different cities in Germany, or heading up to Enschede {where my Mom lived before she moved to Canada}, as well as a place in Belgium we had only driven through on our way to Luxembourg a few weeks earlier.  But none of that held real excitement when we talked about it.

I started to browse the map via Google, and realized that Calais France was only about 3-1/2 hours away by car, and that was the spot for the Chunnel to Dover, England.  When I asked Aaron what he thought of that idea, he was totally on board for it!

I picked up Aaron on Friday after work and we headed down to Calais, where we stayed in a hotel that you had to book yourself into.  When we arrived the gate was closed for cars, but you could walk in.  At the kiosk outside the main door you entered your confirmation code and it printed out your room number, as well as the gate code, which was also your room door code.  Kind of odd!

In the morning we headed to the train station to get into the Chunnel.  We were both a bit nervous since you go 75 metres (250 ft) deep at the lowest point, and it is 38 kms (23 miles) long.  It only takes about 35 minutes to cross, and thankfully it is quiet and lit bright in the rail cars.

When we got into England, it was, as usual, foggy.  And since the driving is on the opposite side of the road, I was helping to keep us from getting in accidents, and didn't take too many pictures.  This though was a sign that you saw lots of near the on ramps to the "motorway".

Some of the other shots I was able to get:

Dover Castle

We decided to brave the roads and head up to Canterbury to see the cathedral there.  

It was, of course, bright and sunny when we left Sunday morning, but we had to catch a certain train back, so we didn't get to take many pictures.

And I finally got my France sign as well! :)

Check out the rest of the pictures here.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Last week ...

I'm so glad that we can see the changing of the seasons, the promises of our Father who governs all.

Seeing the colours changing on the trees always makes me think of Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family, as they celebrate the bountiful thanksgiving of our Father in Heaven.

We decided on Wednesday night to take a night time boat cruise along the canals of Amsterdam.  I have come to realize that I am so far from being anywhere near good at taking night time shots!!

Thursday Matt, Karen & I headed north by bus to the Zaanse Schaanse.  It is a 17th & 18th century set town with working windmills.

Even though it was a bit foggy and cool, it was a great day!

Check out the rest of the pictures here!

Next post? :) Aaron's & my adventure on the weekend!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paris!! {Part two}

Saturday we had decided to go see the Basilique de Sacre Coeur ... Basilica of the Sacred Heart for those that don't speak French! :)

When we got to the final stop on the subway that we needed to take, we couldn't figure out why everyone was lining up to take the elevator up, when it seems that Europeans really enjoy walking.  Well when we rounded the couple next corners, we quickly found out why!  90 steps to the outside world! In the regular European rounded narrow way!!  We all deserved any chocolate we ate after that!!

This part of Paris is known as Montmartre, and it is on a hill, and full of narrow streets.

The Cathedral was at the top of a hill, and this was one of the options for getting up there:

Since Aaron & I had already done our major workout for the day, we opted for the elevator ride up! :)  Since it was covered by out transit tickets, that was even better!!

The Cathedral was quite nice on the outside, and inside, but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside.  That was kinda sad.

A day time shot:

And a night time shot:

There was then a spot we could stand that you could see the Eiffel Tower off in the distance too:

Sunday we headed out to Chateau de Vincennes, since it was only two stops up the subway line from where we were, and would allow us easy access to get back and get our luggage when we needed to leave to catch our train.

A young family was trying to take pictures of themselves in front of the chateau and cathedral, so Aaron offered to take theres.  When they were done, they returned the favor and took one of us too.

The Cathedral at the Chateau:

I was using a sunlight filter, so some of the pictures are kinda pinkish ... 

The Keep at the Chateau:

I was sitting on the ground, leaning back taking this picture ... Karen took a picture of me doing it, so there is proof!

The following picture is of the departure sign board at the Paris train station.  It was electronic in that it flipped each individual letter, not digital.  Very Cool!

And my attempt at taking pictures when we are going around 300kms/hr

And that concludes our weekend away in Paris!

The full picture montage can be found here! (click the word "here")