Jun 26, 2014

Lovely Summer

It seems like once I get all caught up, I am immediately behind again. Right after my last post about our many adventures in Belgium, we visited Fort Eben-Emael; a WWII Belgian fort that was the largest fort in the country. I've noticed that in Europe, both World Wars are very significant and have a lot of impact, even today. Unfortunately, they're not so heavily emphasized in American schooling, so it was an informative and humbling visit for me.
One of the many displays inside the fort, commemorating the lives of soldiers on both sides.
Later on we visited the grounds of castle Alden Biesen. The castle itself is closed for visitors, but the grounds are open and absolutely stunning. There are orchards of apples, pears, and cherry trees simply falling over with ripe, delicious fruit. Lucky for me, they encourage castle visitors to enjoy the fruit at no charge; and I was more than happy to oblige. 
A beautiful Belgian castle!
What's a castle without a moat, and fresh, delicious, self-pick cherries?
Monday we left for the coast, where we camped for a few days. We visited the city of Oostende and saw the North Sea again. My favorite part of our visit, though, was the day trip to Brugge! It's one of those cities that just seems so perfectly romantic and European to an American-dreamers' mind. It definitely delivers on it's nickname of "Little Venice." It is all charm, brick, waterways, flowers, lace, history, sunshine, cathedrals, and romance. I love that you can just drive to a famous, beautiful city or country in just a few hours. You definitely can't do that in America.
I love all of the details!
As always, coffee!
It was such a nice few days just relaxing and enjoying the beauty of this little country, and of course the nice fellowship with my parents-in-love and friends. Every day I am humbled and amazed that I get to be here and really see how the Lord has blessed us. And I learn something new every day; there are so many little cultural things that you don't realize are different until it happens. I've been keeping track, and eventually I will get it all written out for you. Hopefully this week.
The North Sea from the beach. That white building is a little changing house.
There are some amazing (protected) sand dunes that you can walk through!
Thanks for following along and bearing with my less-than-stellar posting this summer. :)