Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Belgium Exchange - Brugge and the seaside

Tuesday April

Today the Czech students and Czech teachers, along with a couple Belgium teachers took a journey to Brugge and the seaside.  The Belgium students had to stay behind to go to school but we had a beautiful, sunny day to explore a couple cities in Belgium.  Our first stop was Brugge.  Brugge is a beautiful, historic town with picturesque scenery.  It is said that many people get married there because it is so pretty.   We gave the students a walking map and set them loose to explore.  If there is ONE place I would go back to in Belgium, would be Brugge.

One of the Minnewater canals.  It is referred to as "the lake of Love".  The Dutch word, "Minne" means love











me at the canal











The Beguinage.
This is a place where women can go live.  They live their life as a nun, but they have more freedoms than nuns.  They did not give up their status as laywomen and they got to keep their personal belongings.  They were expected to earn their own living, so did jobs like embroidering, lacework, health care and education.










In Brugge, there are many lace shops.  Brugge is famous for its intricate lace tapestries and clothing.









This is the former St. Johns Hospital.  It is now used as various cafes and restaurants and a museum.  The hospital was founded in the 12th century by the city and the rich middle class.  It was used as an example for future hospitals, especially by the Germans.





We enjoyed a nice afternoon lunch at a "restaurant" in Brugge.  L-R:  Radka, Guy, Greet, Petra, and me









After lunch, Greet and I went to the Blood Church.  As you go inside, you walk up some stairs and enter a small church.  Inside the church, they claim to have a vile of Christ's blood.  I stood in line and went up to see the blood.  The Christian in me, wants to believe that it is actually from Christ, but the skeptic can't see how they took blood samples way back then of Christ's blood.



Market Square
This is the main market place.  We had another lunch (this is probably why I am NOT losing weight)









Petra, Me, and Radka are enjoying a glass of Kriek, a cherry flavored Belgian beer.



Then we went to the main church in Brugge, where the famous Michelangelo, Madonna and Child is displayed.  The inside of the church is very gothic and beautiful.
Michelangelo's Madonna and Child

Cheers :)


After a couple hours in Brugge, we got back in the bus and ventured to the seaside.  We went to De Haan, a small town on the seaside.  For many of our Czech students they haven't seen the sea, and if they have, they haven't seen it as big as we saw it in De Haan.  For me, it reminded me of Washington States seaside...with its long sandy beaches and rolling waves.  Petra (Czech teacher) commented that she had never seen the ocean as big as this....I know I take for granted living in Washington, with access to the ocean at any time.  








I walked out into the North Sea and took this picture (above).  The water felt great!

my Belgian Waffle at the seaside...yuuuuumy


















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