Belgium, Events, Travels

Glitter & Glamour

A few weeks ago, D won two tickets to a show called The Art Of The Teese. Yesterday, we drove to Antwerp after lunch so that we may spent some time enjoying the sights and sound of the largest city in Flanders before the evening show.

After a few hours of wandering about, D and I stopped by a café for drinks and a bit of a rest. I happily discovered a wonderful apple ginger concoction which I am sure I can recreate at home. Yeah to that!

Later, we moved on to a restaurant next to the café to have a bit of a snack and to drink beers we never had before. What a unique venue it turned out to be. The dark interior is decorated with religious statues of the Catholic church. The menus are leather-bound. The wooden furniture dark, stained and heavy. One just cannot stop looking around discovering little visual surprises at every nook and cranny. D and I laughed when we noticed an out-of-place statue of a Roman centurion. We should have asked why that one was placed there.

After finishing our drinks at Elfde Gebod, we walked leisurely to the performance hall. I noticed that many amongst the audience were dressed up, obviously also fans of Dita Von Teese. The two-hour show was a beautiful celebration of glamour, glitter, sensuality, and sexiness. D and I had fun and were truly entertained. For a moment there, it also made me miss glittery Las Vegas…

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Belgium, Events

Local Election

Yesterday morning, D and I cycled to the library and voted. As a permanent resident, I may only vote for the city government whereas D had to cast vote for the provincial government as well. At 10am in the morning, there were plenty of people fulfilling their voting responsibility. Here in Belgium, voting is compulsory! The time-tested system of moving people along made the entire process smooth and efficient. There were no drama and we were cycling to the baker and then home in no time at all.

In the afternoon, D and I went to visit several participants of Present@Zwevegem. We dropped by 9 locations and encountered more than 15 businesses. And as usual here in Flanders, there were no shortage of free food and drinks. In just a few hours time, D and I had fries, frikandel, sparkling wine, beers, appetizers, chocolate and even ice cream…

How can one not love this country?!

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Belgium, Events, Travels

Pipes & Ostriches

The first Sunday of October is Open Bedrijvendag. D and I started early this year by visiting three companies which are close to home. A glass construction company, a pipe cleaning company (their system is ingenious), and a big construction company. Starting in the morning somehow meant that one gets to drink beer before noon.

After a short break at home, we proceeded to a new library which is situated in the middle of a park. Then, we went to a small brewery. The visit did not take long, so we decided to end the day by visiting an ostrich farm. 

To me, the highlights of this year’s Open bedrijvendag were the pipe-cleaning company, the crane-powered ride which gave us a bird’s-eye-view of several cities, and the ostriches.

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Belgium

Simple Sunday

After watching the UCI Road World Championships – Men’s road race, D and I went to an event held at the local brewery.

Even though it was quite late when we arrived, we still see quite a number of people at the venue. While the adults drink, most children were either running around or jumping on the many inflatable castles (springkastelen).

D and I drank a beer each while enjoying the good weather and being amongst people. A simple Sunday…

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Belgium, Events

City Fair

Yesterday evening, D and I went to witness the fireworks which was part of this year’s city fair.

This Sunday afternoon, we biked there again to join the festivities. Thanks to the good weather, the turn out was incredible. Crowds of people were gathered around the multiple locations or stands providing food, drinks and entertainment such as music, fun fair games and rides.

D and I walked around enjoying the sight and sounds. Drank a few beers, bought some dried sausages, ate a local pastry, and then biked back home to a simple grilled steak dinner. 

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Belgium, Events

Monuments 2018

For this year’s Open Monumentendag, D and I decided to go a little bit farther than Kortrijk. In doing so, we discovered that Heuvelland is a popular destination for the weekend tourists. While staring at the crowds, we even crossed the French border unknowingly – yep, it was that close to France.

Our first monument of the day was a vineyard. We took photos, walked a bit, climbed a bit of a hill and ended up doing half a cable ride for free?! Don’t ask how…

Our next monument was German trenches from the first world war. The guide was very thorough in his explanation and interjected his facts with some interesting stories. Again, we walked about the site, took photos and then moved on.

Monument number three and number four on our list were no longer accessible due to administrative and time limitations. So, D and I went back to Harelbeke to check out a local product market event. We drank a beer each, said hi to the mayor and enjoyed the sunset before heading back home. 

Despite the two sites we were not able to visit, it has been yet another lovely Sunday.

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Belgium, Events, Travels

Hanging Between The Trees

It was Open Gaversdag yesterday afternoon. Because I was unable to pre-register for any of the activities this year, we just roamed about happily among the crowds after parking our bikes. First, D and I went to the beehives, then the petting zoo, and ended up at the café drinking a beer each. We met a couple we knew, chatted a bit, drank some more and then continued with our walk.

We saw our favourite ice cream lady, waved and walked on to the swimming zone, then proceeded to the forest area. Before I realised it, D and I both had on climbing gears and were swinging about the trees. Boy did we had fun!

D parents, whom we met up later at the café terrace, were already informed of our monkeying antics. News travelled faster than D’s photos if you know people. Ha!

Not feeling like cooking dinner, we biked to a nearby brewery brasserie. I ordered the steak tartar which I have been craving for a while now. D had the stew. The simple dishes, served with fries, were washed down with beers that were brewed at location. After the enjoyable dinner, we biked home leisurely.

What a wondrous Sunday afternoon …

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Belgium, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Movie In The Woods

Last evening after dinner, D and I biked to his parents house, parked our bikes, then walked to a small forest nearby. We joined a handful of people and watched a 90-minute Belgian animated film called ZOOks.

The ecologically-themed animation was enjoyable. The forest an enchanting location. It was a cosy gathering despite the fast dropping night temperature. 

After the film, a couple of drinks each, and saying goodnight to the parents, D and I biked back home. On our way back, D’s back light fell off. The old thing just dropped off and went ‘kaput’. Time to buy a new one.

Movie in the woods. Done it and may cross that off…

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Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Coffee Time

This Sunday afternoon, we had a family of five over for coffee time. D has known H since the early 90s, and I have known and met H and his family on several occasions for years now. There is no better time than the present to re-connect and to get to know each other a bit better.

Quirky H and his lovely wife have very well-mannered children. We had two medium sized cakes, many cups of coffee, countless glasses of fruit juice and some shiitake chips. After a while, someone jokingly made a remark that the gathering felt a bit like a visit to some West Flemish grandparents. We chatted, laughed and ate some more when I fried up some of my home-made dumplings and spring rolls.

At the end of the day, D was laughingly accusing me of gorging our visitors with food. How I adore people, particularly children, who have healthy appetites and appreciation for unfamiliar food.

I think I can easily be that nutty grandmother who feeds the grandchildren like pigs and spoils them rotten…

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