August 12th, 2015
I have really been looking forward to this part of my trip! It took about 2.5 hrs and €5.00 to get from Luxembourg to Brussels where I was picked up by a distant family member Mie (Me). My Great Grandparents Peter and Sidonia on my Mom’s side immigrated to Canada and Mie’s Grandmother was Peter’s Sister. There were 12 children, so there are MANY relatives left here, Peter was the only one to move to Canada. When you think about how HUGE that choice was and the impact it had on future generations, imagine if he hadn’t I may not exist, or maybe when I my Dad came to Europe he would have met my Mom in Belgium instead of Saskatchewan. I came in late so we had a Tea and went to Bed. Mie has a great townhouse, and her daughter Janna was out of town, so I had an amazing REAL bed to sleep in for the first time in a while! The hostel beds are really sad, not that I’m complaining!
August 13th, 2015
Mie works from home for a corporate travel company and had to work in the morning, so I had a much anticipated sleep in! Amazing what sleep can do! We then went to have lunch with her Brother and his wife: Geert & Gonda. They have a lovely home with a huge yard near some farms. They drove me around to see some beautiful spot and even to a town called Oppurs, where the home that my Great grandfather was raised in is. The property is still owned by one of his sister’s children. The home has been updated since, but was still very neat to pass by! In the evening Mie took me along to meet her friends at a terrace on the river in her town of Mechelen, we quickly moved inside, just minutes ahead of a major down pour! I spoke for quite a while with Mie’s friend Ruth who has been to Congo to volunteer with a chimp and gorilla orphanage. Certainly had me thinking about going, but they have a 2 month minimum for volunteering there. How amazing would that be!?
August 14th, 2015
We were met in the morning by Mie’s sister Veerla and drove to the city of Bruges. Bruges has some very old buildings and was like a museum itself! So many canals! I had my first real chips and I’m told that they are not in fact French fries but Belgian fries: cooked twice is the right way! They were fantastic! I also tried a Belgian Waffle but was not as fortunate, as it was not done properly, seems it may have been of the frozen variety. ;-(. We also went to a town called Ghent for Dinner and walked a bit, but I have to say Bruges was the star of the day.
It was a fantastic day, and I am so truly grateful to Mie for treating me all day, and all the wisdom she had of this great city.