Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Antwerp, Belgium

Once again we were gone for the weekend.  This time we headed down to Antwerp, Belgium.  A colleague of Aaron's was in town for a training seminar, and since he had already spent time in Amsterdam, was wanting to go somewhere else to visit.

I researched prices and renting a car was pretty much the exact price as taking the train for three people down to Antwerp, and would take less time as well.  Plus we wouldn't be stuck on someone else's schedule, but could come and go as we pleased.

We left around 6 and got in to Antwerp by about 7:30.  After checking into our hotel, we asked for directions to a close restaurant, that had some good food.  They directed us to a Brazilian place.  Good food! :)

Saturday morning when we got up, the sun was shining and the skies were blue and beautiful.  We planned our day and headed out for the old city centre.  We ended up doing a lot of walking, but that was good when it was compared with the amount of chocolate we bought and ate!!!

view from our hotel room window

fun graffiti

We thought about renting bikes, but Ted didn't want to ride without a helmet ...

The giant of Antwerp

The bridal getaway car ~ This one's for you Dad.

City Hall ~ waiting for the bride to come out

Their she is!

only remaining original stain glass window in this cathedral ... one of the oldest in Belgium {I eavesdropped on a passing tour!!}

The following pictures are from the train station in Antwerp.

As it stands, we don't have any other trips planned for a while.  Aaron has used up all his vacation days for the year now.  It looks like our next big trip will be moving back home in March/April with a baby.

We don't have complete details yet, but once again we are living with a bit of a drop of the hat type of lifestyle.  The work contract has changed dynamics, and looks to be finishing in one year instead of three, which means that as soon as the baby and I can travel, we'll be heading back to Portland, Oregon.  When we have more details, we will let you all know.  If anyone does want to come visit us, and see some of Europe, please feel free to do so!!  We know of a few BnB's slightly close that we can work out some arrangements for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends ... I'm hoping to find something turkey like for tomorrow, but if not, it looks like boerenkool met worst and applesauce are on the menu! :)  YUM!!!

To see all the pictures from our last two weeks, check out this album.  The current pictures start after the ones from the Corrie ten Boom house.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Montreuil-sur-Mer & Calais, France

Last weekend we decided to go away for Aaron's birthday.

One of the gifts we purchased from wedding gift money was a picture for our living room from IKEA.  The picture was of a road with trees on both sides, covered in snow and mist.   The picture had some significance to us, since we had always referred to our time before we were married as "a long road".  Aaron had done some research on this picture, and had found out from its name that it was taken close to a town called Montreuil-sur-Mer is northern France.  This now became our destination area for this mini vacation away.

We never did actually get a chance to stop and take any similar pictures, but we saw lots and lots of tree lined roads, thankfully with only the mist and not the snow! :)

driving on the back country "roads" {more like farm lanes} we had come across hunters, and a little further on we saw a couple groups of deer running for their lives!

We walked around the fortified town of Montreuil-sur-Mer, walked around the city walls, and had some lunch, where Aaron bravely tried frog legs.  I sampled a bite, it was quite salty, but had the same consistency as chicken.

for our American friends :) 

we saw a lot of phone booths still in use!

effective use of the dried up moat ~ basketball court!

Aaron's shrimp and frog legs appetizer ...

a beautiful old fashioned water pump in the restaurant

After we left Montreuil-sur-Mer we decided to head towards Calais.  Along the way we noticed one of the exit signs had a notification for a Canadian War Cemetery.  We stopped to check it out.

From there we headed on to Calais, but got sidetracked by another sign for the capes.  We ended up stopping at Cap Blanc Nez.  It was slightly foggy and very windy and cold, but we braved the weather to see what we could.  There were a few German bunkers still poking out of the ground, but I wasn't able to get any good shots of them, since we had to stay behind barriers.

one of the ferries crossing from Calais, France to Dover, England 

the monument

the village in the valley

As we were leaving here, the fog started to roll in quite thickly.  We stopped somewhere for dinner and then carried on back to the BnB we were staying at, in the middle of nowhere! :)

When we headed home on Monday we were wanting to follow the coast up and stop at different little towns just to see what we could.  But the weather was not on our side.  We woke up to heavy fog and it stayed with us almost the whole way back home.

We did stop to watch a big ship go through some bridges in a little town called Terneuzen.

Now on to our next little mini vacation.  A work colleague of Aaron's is in Amsterdam for a week, and we are all going down to Antwerp, Belgium.