Sunday, August 12, 2007
Next stop, Belgium!
Our drive took us through the hills of Canterbury and on to Dover where we boarded a cruise ship sized ship to cross the English Channel. As we watched the White Cliffs recede in the distance, I could not help but think what this crossing must have been like in 1944. For us it was exciting-to have our motorcoach driven right onto the ship for the crossing. After about 1 1/4 hours we landed in Calais, France where we passed through a passport check and made our way to Belgium. This would prove to be one of only two required passport checks-since the creation of the European Union travel between countries is much easier.
We spent the rest of the morning admiring the beautiful medievel city of Bruges. Once a very important port, Bruges is the home of 13th century architecture, works of art by Flemish Masters, and beautiful churches.
Our next destination was Brussels, the capital city of Belgium where we spent the rest of the day exploring the central market square. The square was framed by Gothic Palaces and Baroque buildings that were breathtaking! Off each corner and side of the square were narrow streets-about a car wide-with lots of shops and small restaurants.
Our last stop on the way to our hotel for the night was to visit the Atomium-a huge steel sculpture that looks like molecules conected together, originally built for the Brussels World Fair in the 1950s.
Already we are beginning to understand the rich history waiting for us as we continue our trip.
Photo 1 Bruges
Photos 2 & 3 Central Market Square in Brussels
Photo 4 The Atomium
More to come....