A Travellerspoint blog

Breda and Groningen

Netherlands

We left Oudenaarde and headed to Breda, where we stopped for lunch.
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We only spent enough time here to see the church and walk through the shopping district.
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After, we drove to Groningen where we stopped in the old town for a drink and a bit of a look around before heading to the hotel we booked.
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December 28th day we drove to Lübeck, Germany.

Posted by Wohlford 13:59 Archived in Netherlands Tagged groningen breda Comments (0)

Brussels, Ghent and Bruges

BELGIUM


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On Christmas Eve we decided to go see Brussels. We took the train so that we didn’t have to worry about parking. Cal’s data wasn’t working when we got there so we hung out in the train station so that I could download the Brussels map on maps.me. It didn’t take long and we headed to the Grand Place. It is the central square in Brussels, surrounded by opulent guildhalls, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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After, we went in search of the Manneken Pis. Basically a fountain with a little peeing boy who, at Christmas time, was dressed up as Santa. Not really sure why it is famous other than it is from the early 1600s.
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Afterwards, we walked to the famous instrument museum and old England building. Both are very cool:
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Then we found the palace and walked through the Royal Gardens that has a lot of statues.
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Then, we had Belgium waffles:
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Walked through the Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
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And randomly walked through the streets until we found the Christmas market where Rorie bought Churros.
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And saw some more cool buildings and streets.
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Before heading back to Oudenaarde.

December 25th, we had a small Christmas morning. Cal got a wood watch (that we bought in Ghent from a Greek booth), Rorie was outfitted in a toque and sweater and I got a sweater too!

The train to Ghent was pretty quick (again, parking is problematic hence the train). It was a bit of a rainy day and not much was open but it is a really pretty city.

Castle of the Counts:
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Interesting streets and canals (which goes around the central city):
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Then we stopped for mussels
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There is a cool belfry
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And, surprisingly, a Christmas market (I think you have seen enough photos)!

The church, Sint Baafsplein, is supposed to house what is thought to be the earliest oil painting but I couldn’t find the painting in the church.

Other cool buildings and streets:
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Christmas dinner was made by Rorie!
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December 26th, was a day trip to Bruges (via car).

The city centre is full of old buildings and a canal circles it so a lot of cute pedestrian bridges.
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Swans everywhere
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Entrance to monastery
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Belfry
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Basilica with a beautiful wood roof
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Town hall
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Lots of beer!
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Our last night in Oudenaarde – we are off to the Netherlands!

Posted by Wohlford 08:25 Archived in Belgium Tagged ghent brussels bruges Comments (0)

Vancouver to Oudenaard


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Lucky us we left Vancouver on December 18th....just missing the airport shutdowns! We were delayed in Vancouver for de-icing but it just cut into our layover in San Francisco. However, we were delayed in San Francisco but only one hour. The flight from San Francisco to Copenhagen was quite bumpy but not so bad overall. We managed to get a beautiful picture of Greenland.
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It was Cal's birthday when we arrived and so after checking into the hotel, we went out for dinner. The following day we spent at Tivoli, an amusement park from the mid 1800s. Rorie and I did most of the rides while Cal waited around for us (nice guy that he is). Although, Rorie did manage to convince him to do one ride.....it didn't work out so well.
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Later that afternoon, we drove to MIddlefart, where Cal lives, and spent the evening in Cal's tiny apartment (~400 sq ft). The following day we toured around Middlefart and did some shopping. I bought a spatula and Cal and Rorie each got a jacket.
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The following day we met up with the Grimm's and spent the day in Flensburg, Germany at the Christmas Market
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where we tried Tallinn (similar to Gluwein - hot red wine) at the world's smallest pub:
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And we all had a bratwurst:
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Afterwards, we drove to Bremen, Germany where we spent the night and visited an even bigger Christmas Market!
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Up early in the morning and drove almost all day to Oudenaard where, wait for it, yes, we visited our third Christmas Market! This one was mostly food and drink; Cal had a beer and I had Gluwein. This is a picture of the old town market hall:
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On the way, there were some narrow roads and so the car told me to:
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(like I wasn't......!)

Posted by Wohlford 08:26 Archived in Denmark Tagged oudenaarde copenhagen bremen middlefart Comments (1)

Fintry

Fintry


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And back to where we started........camping with the Brauns and other Whiterock folk!

It was a bit of a chore to gather camping stuff for the two days, because we are not yet moved back into our house, but we did it!

Super fun time at the beach, playing volleyball, cooking dinners, sitting around the fire, hiking.........

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The dog cuddling up
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Rorie fell asleep on the way home
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We are living at my Mom's in Coquitlam until at least June 30....then we move back into our house and I am back at work July 4.......

Posted by Wohlford 17:28 Archived in Canada Tagged fintry Comments (0)

Portugal

Lisbon


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We arrived at our hotel around 1:00pm, checked in and then Rorie and Cal went for a nap. Cal drank too much last night and Rorie couldn't sleep because Cal didn't put on his machine (because he drank too much....). I slept and went up to the rooftop pool! Cal and Rorie finally got up and Cal came to the rooftop but Rorie just hung out in the room. I then went for a walk. Later that night, we met up with our friends from the previous night's camper van party at Khayyam (an Iranian restaurant) for dinner. It was really fun! Iranian food is really good too (I have never had it before).
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June 18
Today, we went to the Sao Jorge Castle.
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Then we walked down the other side of the hill and had lunch. Fruit plate and sandwich or Rorie,
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sardines and salad for me and calamari for Cal.
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We found Taylor's Port and bought a bottle (pretty good deal at $11E) of white port which is unique for us Canadians (I have never seen it in Canada before) and then we wandered by the water until we found this enormous square.
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We wandered home after that. We had dinner in and then left Rorie to have a drink with Nils, and his girlfriend Laura. Nil's is a friend's son from Sweden. They were really great and gave some tips of things to see/do while in Lisbon.
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June 19
Today, we took the train to Belem. There was a map of all the places the Portuguese conquered. Rorie is in Portugal!
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We saw the Monument to the Discoveries (no pic) and the Tower of Belem (a UNESCO site)
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and Jerónimos Monastery.
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We didn’t see the church because it is Sunday and not open until later and we didn’t want to hang around. Then, we had some Pastéis de Belem and then a drink near the monastery.
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We ended up grabbing an Uber to Colombo Mall as we need to buy a new suitcase for Rorie (one wheel on her suitcase has been stripped since Cassis). We were very successful and bought a few other things there as well (slate platters). We took the train home, almost lost Rorie because we thought it was our stop and Cal and I got off but she was too slow and the doors started closing….but I stuck my hand in and they opened again. We got back on to the next stop (the right one!) – scary! Cal went over to the Fabrica da Nata so we could try those Pastéis, Belem’s are better, and then we headed back to the hotel for some relaxing time, including kicking Cal’s bum in crib, before walking to Mercado da Ribeira for dinner but it was closed! It is actually a marketplace and we were looking for the restaurant called Time-Out which we didn’t see. So, we ended up walking back towards our hotel and ended up at a Tapas place which was pretty good (this is the chorizo sausage).
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June 20
Today we walked to Parque Eduardo VII. A very large park in the middle of the city with great views.
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And we saw some turtles
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Afterwards, we walked (a long way) to the Lisbon Cathedral.
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On the way, Rorie found a clothing boutique with good prices and both her and I bought some clothes. I did a quick tour of the Cathedral while Rorie and Cal waited – it is very old 1150’s. Then we took a tuk-tuk to the highest point in Lisbon City; Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
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Our guide was very knowledgeable about the city so that was nice and recommended buy some Portuguese shoes! Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for a break. Around dinnertime, we went shoe shopping; I bought a lovely pair of sandals and we tried to buy Rorie shoes but they had no women’s shoes bigger than 41 (about size 9) – she was kind of upset with her big feet! Anyways, after we went for dinner at a place close by to our hotel and Cal finally had Portuguese Seafood Stew while I had clams and Rorie pasta.
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Then Cal and I did more taste testing of Ginja; Rorie went back to the hotel. Early-ish night because we are up early tomorrow to catch our plane.

June 21
We took an Uber to the airport as it was just a few dollars more than the subway. We didn’t have any problems getting onto the plane just a ton of line-ups! Line-up to check in, line up to check bags, line up to have your ticket checked for security, line up for actual security, line up to enter the boarding gate, line up to get on the plane! It seemed never-ending! Anyways, we arrived in Toronto under the impression that our bags would be checked through to Vancouver but they weren’t! We also couldn’t check-in for our flight to Vancouver for some reason until we were in Toronto. So, we had to leave the airport to pick up our baggage (on the dirtiest carousel I have ever seen!). There weren’t as many line-ups as Portugal but it all took a long time! We also came to realize that Pearson International isn’t as efficient as any of the airports we have visited over the past year in Europe. Anyways, back in Vancouver, the carousel was clean (no litter) and our baggage came out almost first!

Funny sign in the elevator here: Up Right in Elevator (I think they meant keep right….LOL)

Posted by Wohlford 16:13 Archived in Portugal Tagged lisbon Comments (0)

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