More Sights from River Cruise

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Day 5 had us docked in Ghent, Belguim, but we were not going to see this city. We hopped on the tour bus to travel to Bruges, Belgium. Bruges is considered one of the best preserved medieval cities. A walking tour (on cobblestones, of course – ouch!) took us through the back streets of this old city. The guide pointing out various buildings of importance. It’s a little tricky to navigate because there are many canals that run through the city. We ended in the city center to be released on our own for several hours.

Buildings and canals of Bruges.

Buildings and canals of Bruges.

It was near 11 o’clock, so we were hungry and ready for lunch. Just one problem, restaurants don’t open until noon. We solved the hunger problem by sharing a basket of frites (french fries) from a street vendor. When in Belgium, one eats them the Belgian way, with mayonnaise instead of ketchup. Don’t say “eww:, unless you’ve tried it. I am not a fan of mayo, but this is one time mayo wins out. The other condition I require is that the fries be piping hot. You cannot eat fries with mayo that have been sitting under a heat lamp.

This may look like a collection of rusty tools, but they are actually chocolate. I found this an odd way to present chocolate.

This may look like a collection of rusty tools, but they are actually chocolate. I found this an odd way to present chocolate.

We wandered the streets popping in and out of chocolate shops before we had to meet the guide. On the return to the bus lot, we walked past the Beguinage, where single and widowed woman lived together and prayed, but now is a monastery for Benedictine sisters. The field in front of the building is filled with daffodils and jonquils.

As we continued our journey towards the bus, the guide offered three stories related to the lake and bridge we were to cross. Only one story was true. I will share the “true” story. The lake is called Minnewaterpark or the Lake of Love. It is a tale of a tragic romance of Minna and her warrior love, Stromberg. Minna ran away when her father arranged her marriage to another, she loved Stromberg. Stromberg found her in the forest where she died of exhaustion in his arms. So when you walk over the bridge with your loved one, it will become eternal love.

On the bridge of love, view of Minnewaterpark, and the white buildings are the Beguinage with the field of flowers.

On the bridge of love, view of Minnewaterpark, and the white buildings are the Beguinage with the field of flowers.

It was a long day with lots of walking, but this is a city not to miss, if you should find yourself in Belgium.

During the night we left Belgium and found ourselves back in the Netherlands, the province of Zeeland. Here in 1953, there was a devastating flood which killed 1,836 people. The Delta Water Works was developed to prevent another disaster from ever occurring. It is amazing how this was developed.

The top pictures were from the Delta waterworks museum. The building is actually a caisson that was used to close the dike breeches from the flood. Veere has a lovely little harbor on a canal. I am entranced by church bell towers.

The top pictures were from the Delta waterworks museum. The building is actually a caisson that was used to close the dike breeches from the flood.
Veere has a lovely little harbor on a canal. I am entranced by church bell towers.

 

 

Veere was a small, quaint town where we had time to wander about before returning to our boat so we could sail into Rotterdam. Rotterdam was not a place for touring, but just a stop for dinner with a Shanty Choir of men to board and deliver a fun concert of sailing songs. They sang their hearts out for a glass of beer at the end. Hopefully they received more than that glass of beer. It was an entertaining evening.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this ten day cruise.

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24 thoughts on “More Sights from River Cruise

  1. Joyce says:

    You do make my travels so very comfortable. I agree with jar hartz…your writing voice certainly does take us right there. I am curious about the smells of each of the areas? Is it of water, green grass or coffee? Lovely little chair trip. More, more, more!!!!!

  2. Mmmm…frites with mayo! Yummy! You are making me miss Belgium. I didn’t get to go to as many places as you, and I am enjoying reading about the places I missed. You are making them come to life. I have a thing for church steeples, too. There is just something majestic about them.

  3. What a beautiful snapshot of your travels, once again! I’m learning so much. I really appreciated the details about mayo on french fries. It will make me try them if I ever get to travel to Belgium.

  4. Aah, I’m always so jealous of your travels, elsie! This sounds like an amazing trip, and I’m sorry I’ve missed the first few installments in my busy-ness — I’ll have to look back at your other posts!

    Some of my Middle Eastern students love to eat their french fries with mayo too!

  5. I feel like I am there! This sounds so much like our riverboat trip…the cobblestone walks make me thankful for cement sidewalks. I can tell you are having a great time. The one thing you have done is given me the travel itch again….and a cruise on a riverboat for sure!

  6. J’ai completement oublier le beguinage! I have no idea how, snice I lover that part of the town. Did you see the lace makers? Have any beer to go with your frites? Gaufres? Mmmmmmm. Great fun again this week! Thanks, Elsie!

  7. The story of the bridge that brings about eternal love (and the corresponding pic) were my favorite! It made me think of all the wonderful seeds of stories that could easily be inspired by this one tale. Once again, I feel as if I (homebody) have traveled the world through your words.

  8. Did you have any mussels with your hot french fries and mayo? Yum! What a delightful portion of the planet. Thanks for the birds eye view and I am glad you crossed the bridge with hubby.

  9. Hot fries with mayo…I enjoyed them in Lima, Peru…how funny they would be popular in such far-flung places.I love this travelogue with so many stories and details.

  10. Cobblestones are so beautiful but so punishing after a while! But I love them, even so. I’m enjoying the walk through such an old city. You can just feel the gravitas of the ages as you walk through a narrow street of massive stone buildings. We have nothing like that here in the US which makes it so special to experience. What are the people like? I think of them as very reserved but perhaps I am wrong. What languages did you encounter? I think of Belgium as a multilingual country. So glad you are sharing this journey; it’s saving me a lot of money!

  11. Really enjoying traveling through your pictures and stories. “Popping in and out of chocolate shops”…I could get into that. Great story about the bridge. Looking forward to more.

  12. I assume that you took notes because each of these slices is filled with lovely information, Elsie. Thanks for sharing. That bridge of love story is poignant, isn’t it? Our Romeo & Juliet!

  13. Mayo on FF, I’ve been there before. Salivating now 🙂 What a great walking tour, filled with rich details. Eternal Love- I’m in for that even if we didn’t get a chance to walk over that bridge together…So glad you did and now what’s next for us????

  14. Lynn says:

    Oh Elsie this looks fantastic! Some of my family and a few neighbors were just talking about possibly taking a river cruise next year! Did you mention the tour boat company? Please let me know if you would recommend them . . . it sure sounds like it from day 5! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip!

  15. rosecappelli says:

    Love the story about the Bridge of Love! Thank you again for taking us on your journey. Your detailed descriptions make me feel as though I am there.

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