The Spring 2004 Trip to Europe

Part 1 - Aardenburg and Belgium

Tulip fields and Franz

Our tour guide was Franz, and here he explains that the blossoms will be chopped off these tulips, so the strength of the plants will go into the bulbs.
Minnewater "Lake of Love"

This is Minnewater, Bruges' "Lake of Love," and it is really a breathtaking view.
Canal in Bruges

Bruges is laced with canals, and this is one of them, with residences on each side.  The town of Bruges is truly a living museum.
Lace Maker in Bruge

Part of Bruges' museum activity is to preserve the historic art of handmade Belgian lace.  This young lady was giving demonstrations outside the store where we purchased a linen lace tablecloth.
Ghent Market Tower

The medieval towns in Belgium used their market towers to indicate their importance.  The Ghent Market Tower reaches as high as the adjacent cathedral.
Ghent Cathedral Altar

Within the Cathedral of Ghent, there are a beautiful Rubens painting and this altar.
Workers' Hall

Ghent has been an active city, more or less continuously, from ancient times.  This means that there is a wider variety of architecture, like this 19th century Socialist Workers' Hall.  Unlike Bruges, Ghent continues to be more of a living city than a living museum.
Ghent Canal

The Belgian cities lived by their canals and rivers.  That was the path of commerce, and it still is.  This is attractive, but it is still a working canal.
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