Tuesday, June 5, 2012


We decided to take a little train trip with Rob and Sharon and went off to Haarlem which is the sweetest town with the oldest and best museum.  The museum is dedicated to scientific equipment and all of the pieces are wood, brass and metal...beautiful.  They also have lots of bones, skulls and fossils.  Arnt also got to eat his beloved poffertjges which are basically pancakes in little balls...see pics below...with strawberries and whipped cream.
Then off to Rotterdam where we hooked up with an artist that I had been introduced to over the internet and we went to his studio.  Maritime museum, Modern Museum with a Chuck Close show and World museum with a textile show.  Also went to the Architecture Museum which also included a visit to a completely restored art deco house.  Lots of cafe's for food and drink.
Next was Antwerp which has the most amazing church ever...there was a special show of Ruebens paintings and his contemporaries.  They had been painted for this church and finally brought back after being thrown out for a while as too provocative.  Huge paintings!  Also the wood carving in that church is out of hand...almost lifesize statures of saints, pulpits and naves.  There were also other silver sculptures and hand done brocaded banners.  Gravestones in the floor throughout.  The modern museum on the water is brand new with classical to modern art and a fantastic building. Great restaurants around the square surrounding the church.  Also went out to see some local jazz which was in another great building with a good band.
Finally Brugge which is a very old city with canals, bridges, fab buildings, horse drawn carriages and wonderful churches.  The place we stayed was an old estate house with only 8 rooms and a wonderful garden to rest in after walking around all day.  It is right beside a park which has a small castle and wonderful trees.   We saw this city by boat on a short canal cruise and also rented bikes.  Of course we loaded up on chocolate and headed off to the train for the ride back to Amsterdam.
The day after we got back the boys flew to Ireland for 10 days of fly fishing....that is a story in itself and Sharon and I got to know more of Amsterdam and a few more art galleries (Flemish classical, contemporary and art students) and museums (tattoo and photography).  Also a bit of shopping...well they did leave us alone after all...what is a girl to do!

Haarlem Patio

Brinkmann Restaurant in Haarlem Square

Haarlem Church

Church Door

Tower above door
Super Woman

Kicking back in my apple

Louis Vuiton 2500 Euro a piece

The cafe life in Rotterdam

Castle in Rotterdam

Those darn hams!  Arnt and Sharon

Antwerp Station!  Awesome

Antwerp building

MMMM  Beer

Brand new contemporary gallery in Antwerp

Cutest Cafe

Arnt going all local
Antwerp City Hall

Saving the old

Old estate in the middle of the city

These are on a lot of buildings in Antwerp

We have seen a lot of churches but this took the cake! 170 years to build
Main Part with organ which was giving a concert
Hand carved wood pulpit...Arnt in awe!

5 foot hand carved saint...one of several

And another nave

and another nave

and another nave
hand made brocaded banner

one of several plaster statues

Cafe/restaurants on square

quirky building front in artists quarter

modern furniture

Arnt's fav....a bread vending machine
small building in artists quarter

He is thinking of getting his own fleet for home

fountain in a lovely neighbourhood

top of museum showing modern art

another saint on the corner of the building

Our place in Brugge
Must have mussels and chips in Belgium

Canal trip

merchant houses on canal

old bridge that has not been repaired in 700 years

one of the few wood houses on canal

over the top building on square
Clock tower on square

small over the top building on square

entrance to church on square

church on square

Canal hotel

view from clock tower
Arnt has dinner

dinner in our garden

swans are protected

evening stroll

castle on river

drinking fountain for horses
Church on Canal

wrought iron bridge view

swan part of river...no boats allowed

castle in our park

Belgium Brewery
Belgium Chocolate

Belgium Chocolate
Train ride back to Amsterdam


  1. It all looks amazing. Keep the pictures and posts coming. Love it! At least we can travel vicariously!

  2. What a great and beautiful adventure. I feel like I've been there. Thanks Valerie.