Monday, February 22, 2010

Go to a cash machine to get a ticket home (Hard Fi)

It’s been a busy old time lately and this is a bit of a catch up post.

Last week we went to see the promised west end musical (as in I promised when we returned to London I’d take Jacky to a show). We chose Billy Elliot and it was a terrific night out. I must admit though I’m not a huge fan of musicals and the Seinfeld parody ‘Rochelle Rochelle’ occurred to me a lot (Bette Midler singing ‘she’s come a long way – from Milan to Minsk – Rochelle Rochelle’ was on repeat in my head). We decided against Lion King – figuring we’d see that when Jade gets back over here with us. Billy had some spectacular bits for sure – notably a fantasy dance sequence with an older Billy that involved the use of a flying harness. Yes – I was impressed!

First some pics from last week: In St James' Park on our way to see the changing of the guards.

Some pictures for Jade of our squirrel adventure (that's Jacky's leg btw).

Thursday saw us on the way to Belgium. Not without incident though. The train accident during the week in Brussels meant that the Eurostar was suspended into Belgium, so we had to travel to Lille in northern France – then two other trains to Brugge. We had no clue when we alighted at Lille what our next move was so we asked people who spoke Dutch or French or who shrugged at us and eventually worked out we had to travel inland to Kortrijk, then go back to the coast to Brugges.

Brugges didn’t disappoint – a medieval town with outstanding 15th – 16th – 17th century buildings as the photos will show. It was blimmin cold though – even colder than England. We, of course, had to go on the horse and carriage ride around the streets. Carolyn was our driver and Otto was the lucky horse to get Jacky’s love and attention.

We had a terrific time looking around the churches (the Church of Our Lady boasts a magnificent Michelangelo sculpture of the Madonna), the museum (a fantastic display of Dutch and Flemish masters including a Memling portrait that I couldn’t drag my eyes away from), and to cap it off, we had a second tour of the city via the canals.

Brugges - a beautiful spot – with lashings of lace, chocolates, and yes Belgium beer all present and correct in the sampled category. The food was impressive too. Now I’m no foodie (Burger Fuel is a NZ favourite that I really miss) but we had three world class meals over the three nights – about three doors from our hotel by the canal where the horses rest (so Jacky could watch the horses natch). Warmed by the fire, with the swans swanning on the Lake Of Love, and the horses clip clopping on the paved pathways, we had a very romantic recipe (how’s the alliteration quotient?).

We’re now back in London at our Chelsea base with a trip to Manchester to come before we fly back to the warmth of Doha.

It’s been pretty intense so far – every day we’ve had a major activity and plenty of minor ones. We’ve managed to have a bit of a catch-up day today – the trip back from Brugges via Kortrijk and Lille wasn’t as stressful as the reverse journey on Thursday but still was an adventure. By the way if anyone suggests you have a holiday in Lille - do say ‘not on yer nelly’!!

Ka kite ano. Love and peace - Wozza

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