Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Salvador Dali Exhibition

At the weekend we went to the Dali Exhibition under the Belfry Tower in Bruges.

There were not many paintings but there were a lot of prints and sketches that weren't previously published. Nevertheless, we found it both inspiring and slightly disturbing. It also would have helped if there were more descriptions about Dali's life and his work.

The exhibition included Dali's interpretation of Alice In Wonderland. In 1969 he did 12 illustrations based on the story.

If you look carefully, throughout the paintings, you can see a small image of a girl in a dress with a skipping rope or umbrella above her head. We believe this is Alice and found it very interesting to see her appear in the paintings before us.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

World War I trip around Ypres (Ieper)

A few weeks ago we went to a few places around Ypres relating to WWI. There are so many places to see that cannot be visited in one day.

First we went to the Hill 62 Canadian Memorial at Sanctuary Wood. It is a memorial that commemorates the actions of the Canadian Corps in defending the southern stretches of the Ypres Salient between April and August 1916.

We then headed to Ypres for some lunch and a look around the Menin Gate which is a war memorial commemorating the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient during WWI and whose graves are unknown. The location of the memorial marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line.

 It bears the names of around 54,389 officers.

Every evening at 8pm the road under the memorial is closed and the Last Post is sounded. This has been taking place since 2 July 1928 and was only interrupted by the German occupation during the Second World War.

We then went into the In Flanders Field Museum which is in the Cloth Hall in the centre of Ypres. It is named after the poem by John McCrae. The poem was written after Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae witnessed the death, and presided over the funeral, of a friend.

We then visited the Yorkshire Trench near the village of Boezinge (and is bizarrely in the middle of an industrial estate).

A Belgian group 'The Diggers' worked on this site for many years and recovered many materials and bodies. It was officially opened in 2003.

There are tunnels which lead to dugouts but these cannot be accessed due to flooding.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Camping in Licques, France

At the weekend we went camping in Licques, France, which is not far from Calais or Brugge.

On Saturday we walked Sophie around Licques, and played cards, drank beers, and had a BBQ at the campsite.

On Sunday we started off with a cup of tea and a proper camping breakfast.

Later on we went off to Oye Plage to let Sophie run in the sea.

Then off home for a nap.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


During the week a group of us from my (Kerri) old Nederlands class took a trip to the beach at Knokke-Heist to visit one of our classmates who lives in Heist.

Knokke-Heist is a municipality made up of several towns including Knokke and Heist. We arranged to meet in Heist but got on the wrong bus from Brugge so ended up in Knokke first.

The whole area is known for being quite affluent with apartments easily fetching €1,000,000.

We lazed around on the beach for a bit, although it was pretty cold in the wind, then we went on a bike made for several people (I have no idea what it is called) to take in the sights of Heist, then off to a bar for beer and frites.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Assumption Day: Brugse Belofte Procession

The 15th August is Assumption Day which means that there is a Feestdag (Bank Holiday) in Belgium (except for Matt who had to work). Assumption Day is a Catholic holiday commemorating the departure of the Virgin Mary from this life and the assumption of her body into heaven.

Every year in Bruges since 1304 the Brugse Belofte (Bruges Promise) procession has taken place on Assumption Day.

In 1304 the Flemish warriors fought for their freedom against the French king and his army at Pevelenberg. The wives and mothers of the warriors promised an annual 36 pound candle as a sacrifice in hope that their husbands and sons would come back from battle unscathed.

Every year since a procession brings the candle from Our Lady Of Blindekenskapel to the Lady Of Our Potterie Church which happens to be on our road so we were lucky to be able to watch the procession from our own doorstep.

The procession consist of about 175 extras portraying different scenes. The promised candle is carried by twelve virgins which is solomnly handed over at the Lady Of Our Potterie Church.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Little Helper

This week Sophie has........

.......helped with the paper recycling

........helped with the vacuuming

......helped with moving the furniture back

......helped with the gardening