Brussels, October 23

written by bryan on October 30th, 2006 @ 08:16 AM

Today’s pictures on flickr

Belgian keyboards suck. They’ve got this really funky layout that’s even worse than the French AZERTY one. I had a couple of paragraphs painstakingly typed in, but then I made a mistake and went to hit CTRL-Z. Of course, they have the W where the Z is supposed to be, so boom, my window disappeared.

Usually we use my Palm Pilot and a wireless keyboard to write our blog entries, and then transfer them to an internet computer via an SD card. I usually relish the opportunity to type on a real keyboard with a real screen, but these Belgian keyboards are very painful.

But surprisingly, they don’t have the control panel locked out on this computer, so I was able to switch layouts and now the pain is gone.

Brussels is a beautiful city. Many government and other grand buildings have been built here over the years. Hopefully Bethany will comment, she knows much more about architecture than I do. The mix seems very pleasing to my eye, and many areas are very grand. Bethany took a lot of pictures, be sure to check them out.

We went through the Cathedral here in Brussels. There are some very impressive cathedrals in Quebec, but ones that take three hundred years to build and have been updated over the centuries just have something more! Bethany says that I’ll have to contrast it to the Gothic-style Notre-Dame in Paris.

While walking along doing the tourist thing, we noticed some fine looking pie in the window of a cafe. That was mighty fine pie.

Brussels also has many chocolateries. We got ourselves an assortment of dark truffles and chocolates, but we haven’t tried them yet. I expect great things.

While at the cathedral we noticed that we had arrived during “Organ Week”, and they were having a concert on the very impressive looking pipe organ hanging up high on the wall like a bird’s nest. It was advertised as blues, tango and waltz, so we definitely had to check it out.

We finished touring the city, and then headed back towards the boat to change for the evening. We were running out of time, so we tried to rent bicycles to speed the way. Unfortunately the automated kiosk thwarted us and we ended up taking the metro instead.

The show was interesting, nothing like what I expected. I’ve been to some very loud concerts over my lifetime (Neil Young was the worst, by the way), but although this wasn’t that loud, there is nothing quite as impressive as the feel of a massive stone cathedral vibrating under your feet to the bassive from a massive pipe organ. The concert itself was an hour long medley of very small snippets of very different tunes. For example, Phantom of the Opera morphed into In the Mood which morphed into Fur Elise and many other tunes which I recognized and didn’t recognize.

After the organ concert we took the metro to a jazz club to listen to a set worth of jazz trio. It’s kind of nice to be able to do things like that on a Monday night. It was a good jazz trio, I especially liked the bassist, but it did seem kind of generic, so we headed off in search of Belgian Waffles. We didn’t find waffles, but we did find some good dessert. Hopefully we’ll be more successful in Antwerp tomorrow.

Comments

  • Jason Mohrbutter on 30 Oct 17:59

    It would be an interesting poll to see who believes Bryan was more excited about the chocolate and pie than the magnificent buildings. It was obviously a very close call for Bryan. I recall the Neil Young concert quite well. Saskatchewan is not known for setting off the richter scale but that night was different. Keep on rocking in the free world B & B. Jason P.S. I want to see some pictures of Bryan in those goofy German outfits (suspenders, shorts, silly hats) with a beer in one hand and a piece of chocolate in the other dancing to some polka music. I'm confident this has happened or will be happening soon.
  • Wayne on 01 Nov 03:35

    To those who are wondering what happened to the website today, that was just me letting the domain name expire. Should be back to normal now. Maybe I should say it was an intentional Halloween prank? Yeah, that's it, I meant to do it -- hah hah!
  • Wayne on 01 Nov 03:40

    Jason, I'm imagining Bryan in the land of chocolate.
  • Claudia on 01 Nov 13:09

    Oh, Bryan; you tease! now all I can think of are those delicious, yummy chocolate truffles..... Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!!!

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