October 26, 2012
A girl, her hubs and a suitcase…………..
It’s story time my traveling comrades. This morning Frankster and I were experiencing time zone confusion and awoke somewhere between the hours of 4 and 5 am. It is 6 hrs. ahead here (tomorrow is actually Daylight savings-score one extra vaca hr.-wahoo) We felt it best to seize the day, although it was still dark outside. Our hotel has provided breakfast for us, so we began our early morning with some fresh, tasty Belgium breakfast. A still life picture awaited us of fresh fruits, delicate pastries and all the usual accompaniments. We walked into the damp still morning as the blue sky started to emerge. We walked to Citadel Park (http://www.visitgent.be/en/node/8791/?context=tourist) a beautiful park, nestled in the city. We were the only ones in the park with the exception of AFLAC’s Belgium’s cousins quacking away. We sat on a bench pond side, and as if on cue, the reddish and gold hue leaves sprinkled down in a silent air raid, littering the moist earth. There was a Hue Heffner-esque grotto which prompted Frank and his monkey climbing ways to scale the funky shaped rock. But, alas after a swift bump to the noggin-those escapades ended quickly. We were taking our time waiting for the museum to open. First ones in the door-That’s how the Edells play the game.
As it happens-sadly we were the second ones in the door. But, no fret- no other patrons were seen during our Museum shuffle. The museum we were visiting is Museum Voore Schone Kunsten, or as the locals call it MSK. (http://www.mskgent.be/nl) A lovely museum on the grounds of the park, vastly large, with massive open space, comfortable seats in every room, and more importantly, very enjoyable art. A significant portion of the museum consisted of Flemish masters-artists from this region. There is a restoration in progress in the museum of the Gent Altarpiece-which you will hear more about tomorrow. But, it is an important religious and historical work of art that holds great significance. We used an audio guide to assist with the tour and found it easy and informative. Exhaustion, jet lag and mind mush began to settle in, so we took a much needed coffee break in their lovely café and sat on the terrace outside. The weather was absolutely glorious and we were informed that it is unseasonably warm and unusually sunny. Um, thank you and yes-I will have some more, sir. After the much needed caffeine injection (which I never, ever drink, except in rare emergencies-and YES- this was one) I was running up those museum steps like Rocky, ready to tackle some early 19th century .
We left the museum-thoroughly satisfied and leisurely walked back to the hotel. We took a light nap in preparation of this evening’s main event- A Night at The Opera. We took a taxi to the opera house. (https://vlaamseopera.be/en/#!/) The production we were seeing was Tristan and Isolde. The one detail that prevented us from truly following the production was it was sang in German and translated in Dutch. I was very lost on the story line, but I closed my eyes, let the music settle over me. It was a stellar orchestra as well as a sopranic delight. After the opera, we went to a local Italian restaurant called Pane and Vinno. (http://www.pane-vino.eu/) It was packed to capacity and apparently very popular. We slid in a table and took in the young, hip crowd. Frank had Lobster with pasta – a bib would have been quite helpful (and a hose). And, I had pizza with eggplant. The meal was delicious, not greatly expensive and very satisfying. We walked back to the hotel, in the cool autumn night, reminiscing about the fine evening.
Tune in for more Belgium adventures……
~Brooke and Frank~