Thursday, May 5, 2011
Belgium…….We are in the land of Chocolate!!! What a great place to be.
We stayed overnight just south of Brussels. Got off the fast highways and drove through the country side which was absolutely gorgeous. Centuries old castles and monasteries reside along quaint old stone buildings that have been restored and all have beautiful, white Belgian lace at the windows.
We picked up Europe’s oldest cache and had lunch in a Castle built in the 1400’s. Very yummy, and very French cuisine although we were still in Belgium. It was a very thick, rich chicken stew. In the Castle gift shop, we could have bought a wild-boar-skin throw for our couch back home!! There was a moat surrounding the castle and it was full of fish. We didn’t go fishing but we did get a cache there.
Our drive took us to caches in beautiful forests and the weather was idealic. The Ardienne Forest which played a prominent role in WWII is mostly tree farms now. It was difficult to imagine those soldiers in fox holes and freezing winter weather fighting for every inch of ground.
At a caching rest stop, we saw a trucker at his truckside table diner built right into his truck. See the picture. There were lots of RV’s here too. They are small and very much like Airstreams. Big ones wouldn’t make it on the narrow roads anywhere here.
In Amsterdam, we were blocked from getting to our hotel until late as there was some kind of gathering going on all over town. Every way we turned and street that we took ended in a barricade and the police were not helpful. We wondered if it was a demonstration for BinLaden, but when we finally got to our hotel, we found out that it was the observance day for liberation in WWII. They still feel strongly about the freedom they gained at the end of WWII.
The food has been wonderful. Our breakfast buffet in Amsterdam was marinated warm mushrooms, and something called multisap juice which was predominantly mango and very good and the best buns ever.
We cached in a small bedroom community that day and ate at Callas’ which was Greek. They were so friendly and chatted for a while with us. Their tomato soup was awesome.
In Antwerp, we cached in the city along the wharf. Huge ships were tied up there. We found a cache on an old piece of wharf machinery. I crawled underneath to retrieve it. A man came over and said, “Do you have a problem?” I was underneath so couldn’t answer but Lois and Mike were top and Wayne had stayed with the car. Mike (who is 6’2” at least) said, “No. Do you?!” The guy stuttered and said, “Well, I work for security here.” He then walked away. Sometimes it helps to be tall!! Well…….I guess most of the time!!
Signing off for now.