Belgium Trip Report Day 5 & 6

Trip Report

Belgium 2013

October 29, 2013

A girl, her hubs and a suitcase…………..

Day 5

No wifi !

So, I will continue to write, but you may receive this a little late.  Today we awoke at a ridiculously early hr.  due to a jacked up nervous system from coffee ingestion, biological geographical confusion and a snoring husband.  Well, sweetie-if I am up-then so must you. I took a scolding hot luxurious shower-leaving my beloved and probably the rest of the hotel with cold, anemic droplets. I heard cursing and angry yelps coming from the bathroom, feeling remorse but extremely refreshed. Our breakfast was offered in the room next door, colorfully decorated, with vivid paintings and interesting conversation pieces. The owner is an architect or designer of sorts. His furnishings and details were a fine example of his craft. Breakfast was an array of beautiful French pastries, freshly squeezed orange juice and baguettes of bread- with deep craters of flaky crust, buttery, salty dough and truly one of the finest gifts the French have shared with us. It is a prime example of simplicity at its finest.

We left Lille with grey skies and cold pelting rain. The sun has popped out momentarily during this trip, a meteorological tease of what could be. Again, it is a minor issue-but does complicate matters and creates a need for adaption. Which-if the Edell’s are anything-ADAPTABLE we are. We drove approximately an hr. to Crupet, Belgium.  Our journey now takes us to Southern Belgium.  The topography started to change as we entered this region. High, jagged mountain rock and winding, elevating narrow streets was our scenery. Massive trees with thick trunks –jetting out their interloping branches like Marines criss- crossing their swords in salutation.  We arrived at our hotel Le Moulin Des Ramiers.(http://www.moulindesramiers.be/ ) It is an old mill factory-with an old mill bursting through the interior through a couple floors. It has quaint farmhouse charm with exposed stone walls. Our TOTALLY French hostess greeted us and we were left literally with a game of charades to carry on any kind of conversation. Frank was pulling his ear in a sounds like motion-as our hostess continued to carry on in French, oblivious to our clueless state.  

We drove to the next town over called Dinant. It was a harrowing drive-turning and weaving through cow pastures and zipping by farms.  We again found the last free parking spot and walked down towards the water. Dinant is a waterside village, picturesque with old world charm. Towering over the water is mountains with castles and turrets dotting the landscape. We dined at a restaurant called Chez Bouboule Le Roi des Moules.( http://www.chezbouboule.be/)  A darling restaurant, overlooking the water that specialized in Mussels. The menu was completely in French and the amateur that I am had an extremely difficult time negotiating what may be vegetarian. The sweet family sitting next to us-your typical French nuclear family, with 2 obedient adorable children sensed my difficulty and proceeded to order my vegetarian meal for me. Discussions were had between waiter, chef and my new friends-it was settled-I would have tomato soup and a salad. If it were not for them-I could possibly be eating terrain of duck liver.  Thank you sweet French Family. Frank got the mussels, which came in a huge pot-steamy and pungent. It came with a big bowl of French Fries-a standard pairing for this dish. Frank plucked those babies out of their garlicky shells, slurping and glugging with enthusiasm.

After lunch we debated whether to partake in rest time and indulge in a nice nap. Or take advantage of the time and go into town and do our laundry. 10 days is a long time and too much to pack-so we always incorporate this much needed task at our halfway point. We chose the latter and schlepped into town with a suitcase full of dirty clothes. We washed our clothes at the local Laundromat (W@ashin);even washing clothes on vacation is fun!

When we returned to the hotel, we enjoyed an in room picnic of fine French bread, Belgium cheese, olives and grapes. Frank enjoyed the local beer. It was a yummy meal, economical and enjoyable. After dinner, I indulged in a hot bath, followed by crummy French programs and now early to bed.

Tune in for more Belgium Bedtime Stories……………..

Love and Belgium Beer Burps…. (HA!)

~Brooke and Frank~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trip Report

Belgium 2013          

 October 30, 2012    

A girl, her hubs and a suitcase…………..

Day 6     

Still NO WIFI L

But, don’t you worry I ‘ve got your travel memoirs right here-ready for you when you desire. Today was a smorgasbord of remembrance and history, followed by some city sophistication, with a dollop of art and culture.

We woke up to the first sunny day on our trip. The sun streaming through our windows was our friendly wake up call. We had a tasty breakfast of some fine French pastries and then set out for our day. We drove to Marsdrasson memorial  in Bastogne, Belgium. It is a World War II memorial commemorating those who fought and lost their lives in the famous “Battle of the Bulge”. Our destination was approximately 40 minutes from our hotel. Bastogne is perched on a  big cliff of earth, suspended precariously. The monument itself is somewhat utilitarian but honors all the individual states within the U.S. There is a spiral staircase that leads to the top with beautiful views of the horizon and village below.  We wondered around the grounds, taking advantage of the sunshine and beautiful day.  Making an impromptu decision we chose to drive to Luxembourg. We had done a fair amount of research leading up to the vacation and resolved that in particular Luxembourg had to be cut out.

But, curiosity won over and according to our navigation system it was pretty close. We arrived in the city of Luxembourg a half hour later, and it was only midday. We parked our car without incident and made our way through a beautiful park.  The park zigzagged across the city and spit us out in the hub of the center. We walked around, visited the helpful tourist office, who suggested an Indian restaurant close by. The Star of Asia (http://www.starofasia.lu/) Upon entering the aromatic restaurant, with an overpowering bouquet of Indian spices our mouths started to water. As the lovely owner, shook his head sadly at us that they had just closed. I made my best sad face, asking for another restaurant suggestion-when the gentleman, waved his hands in a dismissive fashion and escorted to us to a table. We consumed delicious, hot spicy vegetarian dishes. After the meal, the owner shared with us some interesting facts about Luxembourg . This was one of the few conversations we have had on our trip, as the language barrier has been pervasive. Our lunch experience and friendly banter was very enjoyable.

After lunch we walked around the city and happened upon the Museum of National History and Art  (http://www.mnha.public.lu/). My entrance was free due to my student status and Frank is a senior here-so our entry fee was peanuts! The museum itself is quite interesting architecturally, an open space 5 floors full of interesting scientific facts about civilization. We used audio tours which contributed to thought provoking details. There was a special exposition featuring a local artist from the impressionist period named Jean Schaack. The paintings were beautiful  and colorful. I especially enjoyed this portion of the  museum. In total, we spent about 2 hrs. there.

We left the museum and walked through the city, moving towards the water. The most spectacular view awaited us. There is a large wall fortifying the city back from medieval times. The cliff high walls circles the city and below, flickering in the evening light was Roman ruins, a beautiful garden and illuminated bridges from end to end. It was the highlight of my day, and possibly the trip so far. We lingered a while, swearing we would return to this city-someway-somehow. Reluctantly, we left knowing we had to drive 2 hrs. back to the hotel. (by the way, at this point our computer battery died and not one picture was captured for the majority of the day. LLL

We arrived back at the hotel, calling it a fairly early night.

Tune in for more travel tales….

Love  and Luxembourg lullabies…………..

~Brooke and Frank~   

 

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