Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Trip to Europe, Bruges, Belgium (edited)

I have so many great memories from our trip to Europe. Seeing Ben's family is right up there at the top, of course, being a mother and grandma first and foremost, but there were some things that happened that make me smile whenever I think about them, or see the photos or videos. Those are the things I want to start sharing.

As I mentioned in my last blog overviewing our anniversary trip through Belgium, Luxembourg and Cologne, Germany, we really enjoyed our visit to these cities, and took many photos. I'll include just a few more with these videos. They're all pictures that I took around the town, either in the cathedrals or wandering the streets and riding in the horse-drawn carriage on the tour. Just seeing them takes me back there. I honestly never thought I'd ever get to Europe. This was such a great trip.

I couldn't seem to get enough time in the cathedrals. The statuary and paintings, the stained glass windows and tapestries, marble floors, wooden kneelers and confessionals, all elevated my mind to a different place.

I loved seeing the artistry and attention to detail. Today our artists are concentrating on other things, I think.

I can't imagine being able to carve a statue like this one—actually, like any of them.

The pleasure of roaming around Europe, where you can look up and see these old buildings, often eight hundred to a thousand years old, was constant. Now that I'm back home, I find myself wanting to contribute to our own historic sites, especially on the local level. We need to keep what treasures we have.

The extra detail work on the building exteriors add so much. It's nice to live in a city like Loveland, where they have an Art in Public Places Ordinance, the first passed in Colorado. It assesses one percent of all the city's capital construction projects of $50,000 or more for the purchase of art.

Without this sort of community action, buildings like these, and statues like we have here in Loveland, would never exist (except in private collections for the wealthy).

John didn't look like he wanted to get too close to the horse during our "feed the horse" break.

I never found out what this building was, but it's beautiful. All of Bruges had a charm and beauty that we really enjoyed. It's one of the places we'd like to go back to, but spend a little longer than arriving one day and leaving the next morning. Actually, I think we felt that way about all of Belgium that we saw...

Here's the part I had to edit:

I tend to get confused, but luckily cameras date things, so I always think I can figure out where we were when things happened. When I originally wrote this blog, I went by the date on the video camera. I forgot that Ben adjusted the camera for the correct European time after we returned, but not the video camera, which made everything on that camera off by about a day. It was in Ghent, Belgium that for some unknown reason they upgraded us to a suite when we checked in, not Bruges. I finally got the video edited, but decided to replace it, leaving it at the bottom of this blog. Who knows why...

As I said, though, when they upgraded us, they didn't even mention that they were doing it. They just smiled and gave us keys to what must have been the best room(s) in the hotel. I can't imagine anyone had a better view than we did. I found out later that the impressive building, which in my mind must have been some sort of monument or at least have some historic significance, was "just an office building." When I started sorting out my still photos from Ghent, there was that office building in among the still shots of Ghent. Oops. So it now says Ghent on the video, and when you see the next blog, you'll notice photos of the same building there.

Here is the short but sweet, much edited video of me getting very excited about our hotel room, which I now realize really was in Ghent, as I first believed, rather than Bruges, as the date on the video convinced me it must be. I know that as excited as I got it's apparent I have spent too many nights vacationing in a tent. I will say, however, that even if I hadn't, this was a really great room in a wonderful hotel.

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