Friday, March 7, 2014
“By day it is filled with boat traffic - water buses, delivery boats, gondolas - if something floats and it's in Venice, it moves along the Grand Canal. And by daylight it is one of the glories of the Earth. But at night, especially when the moon is full and the soft illumination reflects off the water and onto the palaces - I don't know how to describe it so I won't, but if you died and in your will you asked for your ashes to be spread gently on the Grand Canal at midnight with a full moon, everyone would know this about you - you loved and understood beauty.” ― William Goldman, The Silent Gondoliers
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
and we found the sun…
Venice is one of those little nooks of the world where you could spend a few months exploring.
There is something about a city without roads…
filled with Italian food.
A bonus to our visit was the kick-off of Carnivale 2014.
I can't wait to share Venice with you.
one of my Longhorn Ya-Ya's is on her way to visit
and we have a little galavanting around to do.
See you soon.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
"You can find moules frites a-plenty from September until February -- or, put another way, in months that have "R" in them. You'll still find moules frites in the off-season, although you'll get nose wrinkles if you try to order them. (You may also get a nose-wrinkle if you comment on the fact that Belgian mussels are imported from The Netherlands.) " ~ Culinary Travel
we were in Brussels in February,
but then again March and April both have an "R" as well, so whatever.
Our 'mussels in Brussels' were something to write home about...
and Jacques turned out to be a great find.
When I first heard everyone raving about mussels and fries,
I had my doubts, but any hesitation flew out the window after dunking that first
frite, french fry, chip,
into that lip smacking sauce.
My gamble with the 'special' curry sauce
instead of the normal white wine sauce
paid off big time and Ren Man concurred.
our two culinary scores in Brussels were both French,
and our last few hours were spent sharing a roast chicken…
at Le Wine Bar…
so very French.
I just love it when,
out of the many restaurants in a large city,
we manage to discover not one but two amazing ones.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.” ― Roman Payne, Cities & Countries
My fingers have a confession to make.
They have been so busy snapping photos,
the tale of our family odyssey has been moved to the back burner
until they have a moments rest.
So, another Thursday will pass without progress.
At least I have my fingers to blame.
although Brussels did not blow me away,
it does have its central square surrounded by...
the Town Hall...
Maison du Roi or
depending on which language you speak...
and even more Guildhalls...
forming The Grand Place.
Every two years in August, over 500,000 begonias
decorate the 19,000 square foot space.
|photo: Wikimedia Commons|
Over near the palace,
we discovered the Musical Instrument Museum…
where more hours were needed to fully appreciate…
and BOZAR, the Center for Fine Arts,
where a lot is going on.
One regret is not waiting for ten minutes to see what happens at the top of the hour.
Since we were short on time,
we whizzed through as many areas as possible...
to get a feel for the city.
Something tells me Brussels might deserve another look see,
to fully appreciate,
so I am withholding any snap judgements.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Street art is so ubiquitous in Brussels,
they have their own Facebook page.
Perfect material for this weeks photo challenge…
using one photo for three views.
Any blank space is a canvas to create...
and window displays encourage lingering...
in order to take it all in.
A feast for the eyes...
and we saw only a portion of the tip of the iceberg.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
“Wonderful mix of a living city and a vibrant past. Much more real than lovely Bruges, just up the road. Local people cherish the character of this medieval city, yet there’s not a mono-economy of tourism.” - VisitGent.be
While Bruge is considered the belle of the ball,
Ghent is seen as the rebel.
Or so we were told.
As we walked along cobble stone streets, there was just enough edginess to keep it real.
Having not been to Bruge, where it is supposedly scrubbed clean for tourist,
compared to Brussels, Ghent is pretty well-behaved,
and in true maverick style is responsible for three of its countries culinary treasures.
While at the boat show, one booth, along with boat info,
was serving up the local beer to potential customers.
Gruut Beer is touted as 'healthier'
because of its blend of special spices (Gruut) instead of hop.
Very nice if you are a beer drinker.
I will stick to another Flemish specialty...
with the taste of cherries.
Anyway you look at it Ghent plays a part in the large cast of Belgium beers.
The next special product required meandering through town...
in search of yet another mustard shop…
the Tierenteyn-Verlent mustard shop…
where you choose a container to take home the spicy mustard
concocted for almost two hundred years in the basement.
Made without preservatives, it lasts around six months
and can only be purchased in Ghent.
Tastiest of all…
in my opinion, is the third Ghent culinary treat.
Yep, its the waffle.
The Belgium Waffle was actually invented in Ghent in 1839.
As our day ended…
I was quite thankful for Ren Mans love of boats.
Otherwise, we might have missed Ghent.