Irregular Posts; Brussels

Saturday, July 13 Bonjour, The city has a reputation of being boring, at least compared to many other European cities.  Well. If you are not spending time in the EuroUnion section of the city, the reputation is not earned.  We trained from Brugge to Brussels on Wednesday for two days in the city before our flight home. I realized that I didn’t have the proper directions to Ibis “Off Grand Place” as we exited the Central Gare in early afternoon.  I recall that it should have been just across from the exit but there was a tall Marriott hotel there.  Finally after being confused tourists with a map, we found the Ibis hotel just down the hill and around the corner from the Marriott.  It is on a small plaza, Grasmarkt, and one block from the Grand Place.  Our nice room faced another small plaza behind the Ibis, Place d Espagne with a statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in it!!?  No one had an explanation of why it was there.  Tour groups would exit their tour buses parked outside this Place, assemble here, look at the statue, and then follow their guide into Grasmarkt and on the Grand Place. Meg found the tourist bureau on Grand Place, got a map and information .  We decided to concentrate on the several blocks around Grand Place for the day and a half we had.  Interestingly, we had seen another scallop shell embedded in the sidewalk.  Meg had seen one in Brugge as well.  They are symbols of the pilgrims’ route to Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  She...

Irregular Posts; Brugge or is it Bruges??

Thursday, July 11 Bonjour, The train brought us from Luxembourg to Brugge via Brussels.  The ticketing in Luxembourg produced an inexpensive hassle-free deal; round trip Luxembourg – Brugge.  We just would not do the final leg of Brussels to Luxembourg; “No problem”.   Many students with camping gear were passengers.  It seems that school had just ended and they celebrating summer break start with camping at rock concerts. Brugge is a UNESCO World Heritage city.  It is a 2 or 3 or 4 PhotogDay city.  We stayed for two nights off Jan Van Eck Square in a small three star Hotel Biskajer run by a couple of young men.  This is a very old part of the town.  The Toll House for the canals is here, as are some VERY OLD houses and trade buildings and one of the oldest wooden ones in the city.  The nearby public square, The Markt, is famous … and loaded with tourists walking in tour groups, walking in small groups and couples, sitting in sidewalk cafes, all surrounded by very old and colorful guild-houses.  For four centuries The Markt in Brugge has been a trade and tourist attraction.  The massive Bell Tower chimes on the quarter hour and tolls the hour from its 47 bell carillon.  Some evenings there is a one hour carillon concert.   The Markt is always busy with buskers and farmers’ markets and tour groups and horse drawn carriages and sidewalk dining and… Nearby narrow streets and alleys are cobbled and crowded with people and zipping bicycles.   Busses and cars can be heard, but the bikes zip and sneak unheard until...

Irregular Posts; Dance?

Thursday July 11, 2013 Bonjour, Which is it?  “I won’t dance, you can’t make me.”  Or “I can’t dance, you won’t make me.”  This had perplexed me; actually not the quote but the dancing.  I used to dance but now not so much. My son’s friends had suggestions for me when they saw that I wasn’t dancing at Alice and David’s wedding celebration in France this July.  The joint was rocking.  The DJ ran the music, all modern, SongAfterSongWithNoGaps.  Meg likes to dance and wasn’t about to wait for me.  She was dancing with other ladies.  I was waiting for a slow one.  Nope; none on the horizon.  Yael said “Don’t worry what it looks like, everyone looks silly.”  I told her that I didn’t feel the music to dance.  I could feel it to photograph the dancing but … Andrew listening, suggested that therapy might help me. Later, Dise noted a few movements of my feet as we stood at the bar.  “See, it IS in there.” >>>>>>>>>>>> Mrs. Brown had a dance school.  She taught manners and dance at the Masonic Temple.  It was on Tuesday evenings when I was in eighth grade in 1958.   I learned the foxtrot and the waltz, and loved dancing with my second cousin, the beautiful Deborah.  Mrs. Brown would call out “Foxtrot” or Waltz” or some other step that we had been taught.  You wouldn’t want to be doing the wrong step with the music. While at High School in the opening of the ‘60s, I went to the CYO dances on Saturday nights at the Catholic school up the street...