We left for Belgium at lunchtime on Friday and were back in the country by tea time Sunday.
The reason for the trip was to be a courier service to Andy's mother as she was importing another dog for breeding purposes. As Wendy's friend and granddaughter were the dog 'dealers', our only obligation was to drop the ladies off on Friday night and pick them on Sunday morning. The trip through the Euro tunnel was pretty cool, as was driving through a portion of Europe for the first time, I just never expected it to be through a snowstorm. Now this snowstorm wasn't as severe as those that Canadians experience, but it was worse than England ever gets. It was sticking, making visibility poor and reading sign posts impossible. Naturally we went slightly off track, but after 10 hours finally made it.
Andy and I stayed in a lovely little B&B and on Saturday morning amidst the snow, and armed with a local map, set off to find the small city of Gent where we would catch the train to Brussels. We were impressed with our ingenuity for thinking to wear our heavy coats and hiking boots. We don't always get it right, but this time we did.
Andy at the Atomium
Brussels was a great city with a lot of history, but after touring around on bus and then by foot, we were happy to give up around 3 p.m. and settle ourselves into a cozy pub for some grub and beer. I'd been informed by Darla to try Belgian beer as it is 'great' and she was too right. Yummy.
Mmmmmm... Warm Bar, Good Beer
But even more yummy were the waffles you could pick up hot off the street. I wouldn't turn one of those down on a sunny, hot day, never mind a day when you're freezing your ass off.
The other highlight of the trip was actually realizing I had not only taken in, but actually managed to retain a few phrases of French from the lessons I painfully endured in school. I made a slight mistake by answering her polite Bonjour with a Bonjour of my own, not thinking that she would proceed to carry on our dialect in French. I gave it my best effort and came out alright. It was fun, and now I think I would rather take up French again, over Spanish. I never realized how much of it had sunk in through my thick skull. I not only surprised my husband and our companions, but myself. Pleasantly so - to the point of having a slightly swelled head - it's not often I get to be the one who understands what the foreign person is saying.
The journey home was quite uneventful, made all the more comfortable by our smooth ride. If anything good came out of our crash last summer, it was that we ended up with an 4WD SUV. It's a smooth, comfortable ride and came in handy during the bad weather.
The number of countries I have now travelled to is beginning to grow: Canada, US, Mexico, Grand Caymen Islands, England, Scotland, Wales, Greece, Italy, Belgium and France (well we travelled through France). It is our plan when Miss Stacy next comes to travel to yet another - Germany? Holland (Amsterdam)? Possibly back to France to actually see something of it - maybe Paris??? Being on this small Island ensures a whole list of endless possiblities. Australia is calling to Andy and I, but that will have to wait a few years, and of course there is always Africa.