Saturday, February 20, 2010

Belgium, Day 1

Okay, so I didn't do so hot at my committment to blog more this past week. I really had good intentions, but this sickness I had this week had other plans for me. I honestly went to bed at 7:30 one night--even before Caleb. Luckily my husband stayed up with him, but he's been sick, too. It's just been a symphony of coughing and nose blowing in our house. Awesome. Fortunately the meds are kicking in, and I'm feeling human again. It's 7:40 and I'm still awake! Party time!

So this sickness started for my husband about three weeks ago. I started to feel that tell-tale feeling in the back of my throat about last Wednesday...just two days before the Annual Awards Ceremony. I was panicky that I'd miss the ceremony, so I started doing everything I could to avoid getting sick...drinking Airborne (blech), making sure to take my multivitamin, gargling salt water, drinking lots of fluids, etc.

Well, in spite of my best efforts, I started feeling really good and sick on Saturday, our first day in Belgium. We left at about 5 am, caught the ferry at 8 from Calais, landed in Dunkerque at 11 (one hour ahead in France.) We found the house we were staying at, threw our luggage in, and made our way to Ieper, about 20 minutes down the road.

Ieper is a city with a lot of WWII history. It's also a great place to go for chocolates. Obviously, all of Belgium is pretty much a great place to get Belgian chocolates, but in Ieper, they were cheap!

Unfortunately, it was really cold in Belgium the few days we were there. About 30 degrees the whole time, and it snowed most of the time. So we spent a lot of time going from one cafe to the next just trying to stay warm.

The essence of our Belgium trip was this: cold and sick. We never really felt like we warmed up and never really felt well enough to enjoy the trip. In retrospect, we probably should have just stayed home. So since there really isn't much more to say than that, I'll just show you some pics.
The cloth hall in downtown Ieper. Beautiful building.

Me and my boys in Ieper!

Inside the "In Flanders Fields" WWII museum.

More from the museum. In this area, there was an overhead speaker that had a peom about the horrors of war being read. As the part about "Gas, Gas! Quick, boys!" was read, this tall column filled with eery green smoke. It was very haunting.

Me and Caleb in Ieper.

Outside a cathedral in Ieper.

Inside the cathedral.

Tommy trying to stay warm and eating a waffle topped with bananas, chocolate and whipped cream.

This is Menin Gate. It's very impressive in real life for this small Belgian town. It's a British WWII war memorial. To this day, the Last Post is sounded every night at 8 pm. This was one of the major reasons we went to Ieper, and we spent hours trying to stay warm in hopes of making it to 8 pm.

Alas, after a late night with the Awards Ceremony the night before and having gotten up at 5 to make our ferry, we just didn't have stamina. Nor was there anywhere warm enough to wait that long. In the end, we were all in bed by 8 pm instead of watching the Last Post in Ieper.

Tomorrow (hopefully), I'll catch you up on Ghent and Lille and that'll wrap up our Belgium trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment