Belgium Visit! May, 2016

Napoleon. 1815
These three photos capture some of the memorable moments of my trip to Belgium a month ago where I traveled with Friendship Force, Toronto and stayed with people who belong to FF Leuven and FF Belgian Coast in Belgium. It was a privilege and a pleasure to live in the homes of Belgians and to see the country through their eyes. It made for a very rich experience of their country. I have had individual experiences during my travels when I have seen beyond the tourist sights with people I have met, but this experience was different in that the whole visit was like that.

I can't access all my photos, so have chosen these three as reminiscent of very notable moments. Flanders Fields has strong resonance for Canadians as here our country joined in battle in World War I. Ypres and Passchendaele, two sites where Canadians fought. Also it was very moving for me to go to the fields of the Battle of Waterloo (1815) as one of my ancestors was here on the British side. Our family still have artifacts of his. Indeed, my sister has his pistols, shaving kit, journals and a musket ball that caused him injury.
Being there did not lessen my desire to end all war, but when one sees tiny Belgium and understands how it, along with other parts of Europe, were overrun, one knows why our military became  a presence there.
In Flanders Fields

Belgian Waffle

 And then, of course, there were the ubiquitous Belgian Waffles.Some of them were laden down with toppings, but my favourite was a plain waffle dusted with sugar with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Yummy. And I suppose that sounds like lots of toppings, but if you have ever been in Bruges or Brussels and have seen the waffles sold on tourist streets, you know my choice was somewhat Spartan. My host in Leuven liked the waffles with just a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Posted on June 6, 2016 .