Sunday, April 6, 2008

Belgium weather & day trips to Ghent & Amsterdam (Feb 12 - Feb 25)

Since it's raining outside today, I figured I'd update my blog. I unfortunately have to admit it rains over half the year in Belgium! The weather varies from 31 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit with your coldest months being December and January and your warmest months being July and August (They use Celsius, but it probably wouldn't make sense if I stated those numbers). All in all, it's better than Nebraska's weather, well at least during the Winter months! We'll have to venture south to Spain or France's beaches or even Greece's Islands to get some warmer weather during the Summer months. I can gradually see my little tan wasting away...oh well, that's better for my skin!

Over the last 2 weekends, we traveled to Ghent, Belgium and Amsterdam. Once again, both of these were day trips. In Ghent we toured a castle called the "Gravensteen" (aka "the Castle of the Count") which was built around 1177. We also visited Saint Bavo's Cathedral which houses the famous painting, "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck done around 1432. This medieval city has beautiful gothic architecture everywhere you turn. It also has a canal running through it since it used to be a prosperous port city.

This past Saturday, we went to Amsterdam where I was overwhelmed with sin! Let's just say I'm not use to seeing certain things that only Amsterdam can produce. After checking out the "Coffee Shops", where I literally had a coffee, but the air was quite polluted if you know what I mean, I felt much better about touring The Red Light District and seeing all the Sex Shops and even places for Live Sex Shows. In regards to The Red Light District, I have to admit the girls were better looking than I expected and quite a variety; though, it kind of disgusts me that this is legal! I don't have many pictures of this area because supposedly you could get your camera confiscated by taking them. Besides the wild side of Amsterdam, there are tons of cool canals, art museums, historical sites and old architecture within the city. Since we arrived in Amsterdam so late, we were unable to go inside Anne Frank's hiding place and the Van Gogh Museum, which I definitely want to see at some point. I have included a picture below of the building that Anne Frank was hiding out in, but it's really nothing spectacular from the outside.

Well, I'd better get off my computer and do something productive today...maybe study French since I had my first day of class yesterday. It's going to be a challenge, but I hope to be able to catch on eventually! Also the wonderful household chores are calling my name! I'm not sure if I like being unemployed after all! Though, I did apply for a few jobs through, so we'll see what happens. If I don't get a job, I'll probably end up enrolling in one or two grad classes towards a Masters in Business from the Dutch University in Brussels.

I hope you are all doing well. Feel free to drop me an email because I'd love to hear what's going on in your lives!

Gravensteen Castle - Ghent

View of Ghent from Castle

Canals in Ghent

Saint Bavos Cathedral - Ghent

Gravensteen Castle (we love castles!) - Ghent

Medieval architecture - Ghent

Canals in Amsterdam

Anne Frank's hiding place

Typical "Coffee House" / "Smoke Shop" in Amsterdam

Naughty Shops everywhere (Stephanie and me) - Amsterdam

1 comment:

Kathy said...

There are some beautiful buildings there, and you picked the "Sex Shop" to get your picture taken in front of...