Belgium 1989

Time Travel again! Only a couple of weeks after my Keukenhof/Netherlands trip I made my first solo trip to Europe, Belgium. I had a hotel booked just off Oostende seafront, and my ferry crossing and off I went. On this first trip I fell in love with Belgium, and have been many, many times since, each time visiting new things, whilst re-visiting old favourites. This trip however I was finding my feet. Oostende, was rather like my home town, just pointing in the other direction, by which I mean, the sun set over the sea, while at home it set behind the hotels!

Sunset Ostend Seafront

My camera was a humble Cosina CT4 with a 35-70mm – one of those with the macro. Film would have been the standard Kodak of the day – Gold 100 or 200, and just like my earlier trip to Keukenhof, would have been processed by Kodak – KPC.

End of the Pier, Ostend
Gone Fishin!

Just inland from my base, a half hour train ride, was Bruges. Often described as the Venice of the north. There seem to be a few of those in Europe! In some ways Bruges is nicer in my humble opinion, as it has trees, and many of the buildings are in better condition! I took a boat ride around to get my bearings, and then off on foot. The Church of Our Lady houses the Virgin and Child by Michelangelo, Known as the Madonna of Bruges. Famously “disappeared” during WW2 to re-appear sometime later, in a salt mine in Austria courtesy of the Nazi’s – this is depicted in the feature film “Monuments Men” with George Clooney. I climbed to the top of the carillon (Bell Tower) and admired the view, and treated myself to the Bruges staple, Waffle with strawberries and cream and a beer!

Bruges Boat Ride
Church of Our Lady, Bruges
Michelangelo’s “Virgin and Child”
The Carillion, Bruges

Further inland by train is Brussels which I also visited. I had already got hold of a map and prepared my walking tour, the headquarters of the EU, Cathedral, Royal Palace, Botanical garden etc, and finished up in the Grande Place right at sunset!

Grand Place, Brussels
Grand Place, Brussels, Sunset

A memorable daytrip by coach was to Ypres, the Menin Gate and the war memorials – always sobering to visit these places. 

Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium
Reflection, Ypres, Belgium

I have deliberately made my selection of images here, away from the obvious, as I have made many trips to Belgium and have much to share, so they will no doubt appear in due course!

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