Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My life in Canada...Winter is slowly arriving

Nothing too much happened in the last week. I have been working, Michael has been working but we did have the weekend off together. We did some cleaning, fixing up the yard for the winter, washing some cars, a bit of shopping and a walk in the neighbourhood. Soon I will be getting my Christmas letter ready. I have started doing that since I moved to Canada. It's kind of nice to write a letter containing all the happenings of the last year and send it along with a Christmas card to friends and family. This way they know how we are doing over here and what's happening. It seems so silly to just send a card and write your name on it when you live so far away. People like to hear a little news and like to know how you are doing. So, I will be writing up my letter in the next couple of weeks.

Er is vorige week niet veel gebeurd. Ik heb gewerkt, Michael heeft gewerkt, maar we hadden samen het weekend vrij. We hebben wat gepoetst, wat in de tuin gewerkt, de auto's gewassen, wat geshopt en een wandeling in de omgeving hier. Binnekort ga ik aan mijn Kerstbrief beginnen. Dit doe ik al sinds ik in Canada woon. Het is fijner voor mijn familie en vrienden om wat nieuws te schrijven over wat er het laatste jaar hier gebeurd is. Op die manier weten ze ook hoe het met ons gaat en over alle gebeuren hier. Het is niet zo fijn om een kaart te sturen met enkel maar onze namen op als we zover weg wonen. Dus, ik zal mijn brief in de komende week beginnen te schrijven.

The weather has been quite nice for the time of the year. Usually it rains a lot in November, but so far we had a day of rain here and there the last week and the rest of the week it has been fairly sunny with temperatures aroud 8 degrees. We heard that Belgium and the Netherlands had lots of snow the past few days, that's quite something as it hardly ever snows there. I watched the Belgian news online and was surprised how much it really snowed over there in the weekend, but appearantly most of the snow has disappeared again. There is no sign of snow over here yet, the only place it has been snowing (while it was raining down here) was on top of our local mountains and in Whistler. So hopefully a few more snow falls and the ski/snowboard season can kick off. We went to Burnaby Mountain on one of the sunny days for a walk where we could see the fresh snow that had fallen on the mountains, that's always a nice view!

Het weer is vrij goed voor de tijd van het jaar. Normaal gezien regent het veel in November, maar tot nu toe hebben we nog alleen nog maar hier en daar een dagje regen gehad de laatste week en de rest van de week is het vrij zonnig geweest met een +8 graden. We hadden gehoord dat Belgie en Nederland een deel sneeuw gehad heeft de laatste paar dagen, dat is heel wat aangezien het bijna nooit sneeuwt ginder. Ik had naar het Belgische nieuws gekeken online en was verrast hoeveel sneeuw er gevallen was, maar naar het schijnt was het op een paar dagen alweer weg. Er is nog geen teken van sneeuw hier, de enige plaats waar het gesneeuwd heeft (terwijl het hier beneden regende) was boven op onze locale bergen en in Whistler. Dus hopelijk nog een paar sneeuw buien en het ski/wintersport seizoen kan beginnen. We zijn nog eens naar Burnaby Mountain geweest op een van de zonnige dagen voor een wandeling vanwaar we de verse sneeuw op de bergen konden zien. Dat is altijd mooi om te zien.

Views from Burnaby Mountain of the snowcapped mountains

I still enjoy taking photos as usual. I have always been intrigued by the art of HDR images. HDR means ‘High Dynamic Range’. By using a computer program life Photomatix for example you can create images with a more detail in the highlights and shadows than you can with a normal photo from a digital cameras. Its similar to the old technique of exposure blending. Taking one photo for the sky and one for the ground, then merging them both together in Photoshop. HDR takes it a step further by increase the amount of detail in the image and allows you to create some unique photos. You can use it carefully to create natural looking photos or you can use it creatively to create atmospheric and emotive photos. The choice is yours as to how you process the end result. I love some of the really overdone effects to photos as well as the more natural looking ones. It's a matter of taste and here are a few of my creations that I would like to share with you.

Ik geniet nog steeds van fotografie. Ik ben ook altijd geinteresseerd geweest in de kunst van HDR. HDR betekent “High Dynamic Range”. Door het gebruik van een computer programma zoals bijvoorbeeld Photomatix kan je foto’s creeeren die meer details geven in de “shadow & highlights}” van een foto wat je met een digitaal fototoestel niet kan doen. Het lijkt veel op de oude techniek van exposure blending. Je neemt een foto van de lucht en een foto van de grond en je brengt deze samen in Photoshop. HDR gaat nog een paar stapjes verder door de foto nog een hoger gehalte aan details te geven en dit laat je toe om een unieke foto te creeeren. Je kan het gebruiken om een vrij natuurlijke foto te bekomen of je kan er ook heel creatief mee zijn om nog meer atmosfeer in je foto te krijgen. De keuze is aan jezelf hoe je de foto’s bewerkt en wat voor eind resultaat je wil bekomen. Ik hou wel van die fellere gekleurde foto’s die er wat meer onnatuurlijk uitzien, maar dat is natuurlijk ieder zijn eigen smaak. Hier zijn een paar van mijn creaties die ik met jullie wil delen.

A sunset seen from our living room window in HDR
The parliament buildings in Victoria in HDR

The Gastown Steam clock in downtown Vancouver in HDR

Stay tuned for the next post! Feel free to sign my Guestbook as well!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My life in Canada (November 2008)...Beautiful Sunsets

Beautiful Sunsets:

Nothing too much happening over here. Everything is going well with us. The weather has been fairly nice the last few days and this time of the year we get to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets right from our living room window. The sun sets right in from of our window and when there are some clouds around we usually get to see something pretty beautiful. If I don't have much time to go out and take some photos, I always look out to see what kind of sunset we have. Now and then I get really lucky and I am able to enjoy a wonderful display of colours and light from our living room. I took a few photos of one of the beautiful sunsets a couple of days ago and you can see them below here. For the rest we didn't do all too much, both of us had to work. I was off on Sunday and on that day we went to some sort of collectible (flea market) show in Vancouver which is always fun to go to. Sometimes you can come across some interesting things. We didn't do much more on Sunday as Michael went back on the roof to do a little more patching and hopefully it will stay dry now.

Some photos of the sunset seen from our living room window

On Monday I had the day off too and it was time to meet up with Ineke again as it had been about a month. We met around lunch time and had lunch together at IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) which was really yummy! They have all kinds of choices in pancakes, crepes, burgers, eggs and much more. I had the Chicken Florentine crepes. You get 2 crepes filled with small pieces of grilled chicken breast, spinach, mushrooms and some cheese. The crepes are drizzled with some Hollandaise sauce. Mmmmm, this was really delicious and that for about $10 CAD which is a pretty good price. After catching up on the latest news and chatting for a while we went to the mall to buy some little things. Ineke still wanted to buy a few Christmas decorations and was looking for some presents for here friends in Florida which she is going to visit next week sometime. We had a wonderful time and did some fun shopping. It was good to see her again and I am sure we'll meet up again soon.

In other news there is another Dutch girlfriend coming over to Vancouver in the middle of December. Her name is Angela and I have known her for a few years via e-mail and chat. She used to live in Halifax (Nova Scotia) on the eastern coast of Canada. She is a permanent resident of Canada but due to some circumstances she had to go back to the Netherlands. She lived in Scotland for about a year and is planning to move back to Canada for good now. So, let's hope it will work out for her and I really look forward in finally meeting her in person!

Stay tuned for my next post!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My life in Canada (November 2008)

Nothing too much happening!

After a few days of rain today the sun came out and we had blue skies...aah, that was so nice for a change. The last few days it had rained non stop and some days a lot harder than others. That's a bit different than the rain in Belgium. In Belgium it usually drizzles and rains in periods, but not in Vancouver...if it rains usually it rains really hard and all day long. So, we get lots more rain in just 1 day. I guess the advantage of all that is that everything looks nice and green all year round. I do have to say that I can't remember the last time that it rained for so long without stopping or even a bit of sunshine in between. Oh well, every year is different I suppose. There is no snow in sight yet and the local mountains haven't gotten any snow yet either. Usually this starts at the end of November.

Because of all this rain we noticed that our roof was leaking a bit in the attic, so Michael investigated a little and it seems when it's raining and windy that the rain gets blown underneath the roof tiles. So, he has been up on the roof to put on some silicone in the place that he thinks the rain might get in from. So hopefully it will not leak anymore. We will see when it rains if we got the problem fixed...let's hope so. Otherwise there is not much more going on here. Tomorrow I will talk to my mother on the phone again which is always fun. I am always happy to hear that she is doing pretty good and that she is hanging in there. I hope she will come to visit us again sometime in the next couple of years.

A view down our street

Sometime next week I will meet up with Ineke again as it has been quite some time since I have seen here as I had a bit of a cold and it just didn't work out to meet up on the days that I was off. Well, that happens now and then. I look forward to see her again and to spent some time with her. I haven't had much time to go out with my camera due to the weather and due to not having so much time. If the weather is going to be nicer again I will go back to Burnaby Mountain which is only 10 minutes driving from our place and the views from up there are so beautiful. It's one of my favourite spots in my vicinity! Down here I posted a little film from the top Burnaby Mountain that I took last year. You can have a look if you wish!

Stay tuned for more in my next post!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My life in Canada (November 2008): Fall and Remembrance Day

November 2008:

Well, so far not much has happened yet. Fall has really made it’s appearance as we have had nothing by wet weather since the beginning of November. I think we might have had 2 or 3 days with some sunshine, but the last couple of days it has been raining hard and lots…and there is no end of the rain in sight yet. All the trees are still nicely coloured with all the yellow, orange and read shades…it’s beautiful to see! On the 11th of November we have a holiday here as well. It’s called Remembrance Day and on this day we remember all the fallen soldiers during the war. We wear plastic/cloth poppies on our jackets when we go out to show respect to all the soldiers that were lost in WWI. The poppy actually comes from a poem about Flanders Fields. The poppies referred to in the poem grew in profusion in Flanders…the Flemish (Dutch) part of Belgium where war casualties had been buried and thus became a symbol of Remembrance Day. The poem goes like this: In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row…and so on. You can read the full poem HERE

Some fall colours in our garden!

And a beautiful sunset seen from our living room window
Stay tuned for more news...coming soon!

My life in Canada (October 2008)

October 2008:

On one of the afternoons in the weekend when I was off Michael and I went to Colony Farm Park together as we just wanted to go for a nice walk somewhere not far away. He enjoyed it very much as well and this time we walked further so we got to the pond where you may see different kinds of birds in certain times of the year. Not many birds there now, but it was still a nice place to visit. On October 16 I took the day off because it was my Canadian citizenship day. Michael and I met Ineke at the Stadium skytrain station and from there we went to the Immigration place together, it was only a 5 minute walk. There were a whole bunch of people there and the judge mentioned that the immigrants that were there that day came out of 17 different countries…that’s quite a bit. First we had to get ourselves registered and show our papers. Then we had to sit down and wait until everybody was registered before the judge would start the official ceremony. He gave a short speech about Canada about what it means to become a Canadian and after that we all had to take our oath. Once that was done we all sang the Canadian anthem “Oh Canada” together … I knew that already from watching so much hockey as they sing the anthem at every game…haha! After that they gave us our official paper as well as the Canadian citizenship card.

When all that was done we were invited for some drinks (coffee, tea or juices) and a piece of Canadian cake. It was quite interesting to experience. Now I am officially Canadian. I am still a Belgian as well as Belgium allows dual citizenship and Canada does too. I don’t know whether I will give up my Belgian citizenship, but for now I would like to keep it. Ineke bought me some nice little presents to congratulate me which was so nice of her and she didn’t have to do that! I really appreciated it. There were some candles there and a porcelain Halloween pumpkin in which you can put a tea light. So cool!

Ineke at my Canadian Citizenship ceremony
I received my paper and citizenship card (photo by Ineke)

Michael and I enjoying a piece of Canadian cake (photo by Ineke)

We are trying to start looking into some renovations for our house. We would like some new windows, possible new siding and a fresh coat of pain on our stucco. We might also want to find something for our patio in the back and the front doorsteps as it is painted now which doesn’t look all too great. From October 16 until October 19 there is a “Home and Design Show” at the BC Place in downtown Vancouver so we wanted to go there and have a look what’s out there for renovations. We decided to go in the late morning on October 18. If the weather was going to be nice we were going to stay downtown, have some dinner at a restaurant and after that I wanted to go and take some photos in downtown Vancouver after dark. I really wanted to try some night shots, especially with my new camera. Well, on the 18th it was a fairly sunny day with some clouds. We decided to leave around 11.00am and stay at the show until about 3.00-4.00pm. I took my camera and tripod along so I could take some nice photos later on after the show. The show was very interesting and we came across a few things that caught our attention. In February there will be another show with even more products for outside renovations. But this show gave us some ideas already.

By 4.00pm we had enough and decided we would go for early dinner somewhere and then we could make our way to the waterfront for some photos. We ate at Ricky’s and enjoyed it very much. From there we walked to the Canada Place from where we followed the seawall to Stanley Park. We didn’t go all the way to Stanley Park as the sun was starting to set and I wanted to set up my tripod and camera at the Canada Place. There is a walkway around the Canada Place and that’s where I wanted to set up. I got the chance to take some really cool shots after it got dark. It was a really satisfying day all the way around. We left downtown around 7.20pm and got home by 8.15pm. We had a wonderful day together and we had so much fun!

As many of you may now, North America is the place to be for Halloween. In Vancouver and surroundings there are many houses decorated in the Halloween theme and some are turned into a creepy graveyard. I worked on the day of Halloween and we were all allowed to dress up for Halloween at work. There was going to be a competition at noon where the resident’s would choose who had the most original costume and who had the most attractive costume. It was a crazy day at work with all these people dressed up…haha, but it was really fun. At night we went to Michael’s parents place and there were several children that came to the door all dressed up for “trick or treat”. We gave out some candies and off they went. When we got home later in the evening I heard some banging noises. As I looked out the window there were some really beautiful fireworks to be seen a street over from us. I enjoyed watching that…it lasted for about half an hour.

A pumpkin at the nursing station at work
My bosses and co-workers all dressed up for Halloween

A house in our neighbourhood with some Halloween decorations

Please see my next post "My life in Canada (November 2008)" for the rest of the story!

My life in Canada (August - September 2008)

August - September 2008:

In August nothing much happened. After our trip to Europe we had a few days off and then everything was back to the usual routine. I was happy to be back as it feels so much like home here, some of you might find it strange…but I feel much more at home here than I do in Belgium. Michael had to go back to work on the 5th of August and I was still off until the 8th of August. We had quite a bit of laundry to do, cleaning up a little and taking care of our garden. Michael’s parents had looked after our garden while we were away which was so nice of them. At least we didn’t have to do that much work. I am still in touch with my mom every week and it’s always so nice to hear her on the phone.

I was also in touch with Ineke over the e-mail and phone now and then. She was going to be busy this month and the next couple of months as she was going to have family coming over. Her parents were arriving somewhere in the middle of August and in September her best friend was coming over for about 3 weeks and after that her mother in law and Sandor’s (Ineke’s husband) brother would be coming over. So, she would have a fairly busy schedule. I met up with one of my ex-colleagues who I am still in touch with frequently. Her birthday was at the end of July, so I promised her when I got back from Europe I would take her out for a nice lunch. It was good to see her again and to catch up on all the gossip over lunch. The weather has been quite nice in August, except for some rain showers and cloudy weather near the end of August that lasted for about a week. In the mean time I also have a new camera which I am quite excited about. It is a DSRL (Digital Single Reflex Lens) camera with 2 lenses…the Sony Alpha A200 DSLR with an 18-70mm lens and a 75-300mm lens. I was hoping to go try it out sometime soon.

In September we had such beautiful weather with lots of sunshine and quite warm temperatures. Michael and I went for a walk in Capilano River Park in North Vancouver where I was able to test out my new camera. Wow, what a great camera that it…I love it! It’ll take me a little while to get used to all the features, but it is a Sony like my previous camera and the operation of it is a bit similar. We had a good time at this park and followed 2 hiking trails. One that took us all the way up to the Cleveland Dam and Capilano Lake and the other one was called the Second Canyon Trail where we had a great view down the canyon. At this park there was also a fish hatchery where you can learn about the several different fish that are found in this river.

The biggest news that I got in the beginning of September was a letter from Immigration Canada with a date for my ceremony to become a Canadian. I was so excited that I was finally going be Canadian. This would take place on October 16 at 1.15pm. Michael was going to come with me and after I told Ineke about it she wanted to experience this too and she was going to come as well. Ineke also contacted me and her parents had gone already and her best friend came a few days later. She wanted me to meet her friend as well and figured we might want to do something together. I suggested picking up some of that yummy Chinese food and we could eat it at her place and after that we could go for a walk at Golden Ears Provincial Park. There is an area called “Gold Creek Day Use Area” where the dogs can run free on the beach and swim in Alouette Lake. So, we thought it might be a good idea to go there since it was quite warm outside and sunny again. We had a great time and enjoyed our afternoon…Ineke’s friend Daphne was a very pleasant women and we all had a good time together. I didn’t have time anymore to go out with them for a day, so I went to say goodbye to Daphne after one of my day shifts at work. It was nice that I had the chance to meet her and I wished her a good trip home. The same day as Daphne was going home, Ineke’s mother in law and her son were arriving.

Ineke her dog Pink and myself enjoying Chinese food...I am not sure if Pink was interested in me or the food...haha

I went to Burnaby Mountain again on one of my days off which is my favourite spot to take some photos, especially now with my new camera. And Burnaby Mountain is only about 10 minutes driving from our place. The roses were still in full bloom in the rose garden. I also went to Colony Farm Regional Park one sunny afternoon at the end of September as I had never been here. I drive by this place everyday when I go to work and I had never stopped here. Of course I wanted to go try out my new camera some more, so one afternoon I drove out there and did a bit of walking there. What a lovely park this is which some nice walking trails, a river, views over the mountains and more. It was very peaceful there and quiet which I really enjoyed. There were not many people there either, so it was very enjoyable.

A couple of photos at Burnaby Mountain
A few photos at Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam
Please see my next post "My life in Canada (October 2008)" for the rest of the story!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 10 (last part)

July 2008...last part:

*Monday – July 28: This was the last full day that we had the car, so we went to Wijnegem in Antwerp. It’s a big mall with many different stores. We wanted to surprise my mom with a nice gift. We were thinking of a new microwave in which she could cook, bake and heat up things. My mom’ microwave didn’t work anymore and she used to use it as an oven because she doesn’t have a big oven. Michael and I looked around everywhere and finally found something that’s fairly easy to use and not to complicated to work with. We also bought a few other things for us yet and that was that. In the evening we took my mom out for dinner at “Chopin” which is a nice restaurant nearby with very good food and great service. We had a wonderful time and the day was over again.

*Tuesday – July 29: Today we had to return the car so we agreed with Maarten that we would meet him at the car rental place in Luik at 2.00pm. In the morning Michael and I went to the mall in Genk for the last time as we had to buy some extra luggage to take everything home. We also bought some more food to take home as well, especially some good waffles, chocolate paste, Belgian chocolates for everybody and more. At 2.00pm we were at the car rental place and Maarten was there too. After that we drove back to Genk where we had a drink with him to say goodbye and thanks for everything they had done for us! In the evening we were invited at my aunt and uncle’s place (the ones that were in Canada last year) for a drink and a snack. We hadn’t seen their DVD of Canada yet that they had filmed here, so we had to see it. We had a wonderful evening and chatted the night away. We went home around midnight. We would see my uncle again on Friday as he would drive us to the airport.

*Wednesday – July 30: Today we didn’t do too much, we just went for a walk, helped my mother in the garden with the grass. We had some people over to say goodbye to us. In the evening we were invited at Kurt and Veerle’s place for a drink and a snack. Veerle is my cousin who lives with Kurt and who showed us around in Maastricht. We had a wonderful evening as it was so nice to be able to speak English all night…this is especially nice for Michael. Marijke, Veerle’s sister, also came by to say goodbye to us. It was so nice to see all of them again this year and to have a nice chat with them. Veerle took us home after a very enjoyable evening. We could have stayed much longer, but they had to get up to go to work the day after and we wouldn’t want them to feel like we are making them stay up too long. Hopefully we would see them again in the future. At least we can stay in touch via e-mail as well!

*Thursday – July 31: This was our last day in Belgium and we mainly spent our time packing and organizing everything for tomorrow, so we wouldn’t have to do any packing in the morning. It was so hot in Belgium for the past few days, it is really uncomfortably hot…I am not too crazy about such weather. Apparently it’s been beautiful in Vancouver the whole time we were gone…it was about 25-27 degrees and sunny most of the time. Well, I must say I had a great time in Belgium and Switzerland but I am looking forward to go home to Vancouver. This trip to Europe really makes me realize how much at home I feel in Vancouver. The rest of the day we just enjoyed with my mom, chatting about the past few weeks and what we had seen and done. I am sure she’ll miss us like crazy, but hopefully we will see her again within the next couple of years. I also called my Dutch friend Ineke in Vancouver who is living there now for 1 year. She offered to pick us up in Vancouver to drive us home. So we chatted for awhile and I gave her all the details of the flight.

*Friday – August 1: We got up fairly early to make sure we had all our stuff and that everything was packed. My uncle would be at my mom’s place around 8.30am as we had to be in Amsterdam by 11.00am. Our flight would leave around 2.00pm. We got to Amsterdam around 10.40am and checked in right away. After that it was close to noon time…so we looked for a place to sit down and have something to eat and drink. These were our last moments together with my mom and uncle. It was kind of sad that we had to go again, mainly because I had to leave my mom behind. I was happy to go “home” again to Canada. We chatted for awhile and then it was time to really say goodbye and go to the gate where our plane would leave. It was sad to say goodbye, but hopefully we wouldn’t have to miss each other for too long. I would call my mother after I got home in Canada. The plane left on time and we arrived on time at the airport. We didn’t have to wait too long for our bags and as we walked out we saw Ineke waiting with her little Dax (one of her dogs). It was so nice to see her again and she picked us up. We were happy to be back in Canada.

Well, that’s the end of our European holiday! It was great, we had a good time and we saw many beautiful things. The highlight for me was Switzerland and Brussels.

Please see my next post "My life in Canada (August - September 2008)" for the rest of the story!

My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 9

July 2008 continued:

*Sunday – July 27: Today we had agreed with Maarten and Joke (my friends) that we would go to Brussels together. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and Michael had never been here yet. Maarten and Joke lived here for 4 years while Joke went to school and they know Brussels inside out. We picked them up and drove to Brussels. It was a hot and sunny day again, so that was perfect for our day trip. Michael absolutely wanted to see the Atomium, so we went there first. This building was built in 1958 for the World Expo that took place in Brussels. This building is 102m/335ft tall and consists of nine steel spheres connected so that it forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. We wanted to go inside and it cost us 9 euro each (about $15). We could vist just about every sphere by escalators. The top sphere offers great panoramic views over Brussels and you can get there via an elevator that was considered the fastest one in the world in 1958 as it goes up at the speed of 5m (approx. 15ft) per second. We enjoyed our time here and Michael thought it was fantastic, he was really impressed with this place.

After that we drove to the city centre of Brussels where we parked the car on the outskirts of the city and walked from there. We first walked to the Royal Palace as we were going to have a look there, apparently it was open to the public for free. So anybody could have a walk through the Palace. Sadly enough we had to give our photo and video camera’s to the security people as we weren’t allowed to take photos. It definitely was worth a visit this amazing palace with such beautiful rooms.

After our visit to the Royal Palace we walked through the city and were on our way to the Comic Museum. Michael was interested in visiting this as he was a fan of “Kuifje/Tintin” since he was a child. On the way we stopped at a beautiful cathedral as well, this was the cathedral where our king and queen got married. It is called the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula and it was originally build in 1047. It’s a beautiful cathedral that is open to the public as wel, so we we went inside to see the beautiful architecture. What a beautiful cathedral! Then we were on our way to the Comic Museum and we found it quite quickly. Maarten wasn’t a 100% sure if he was going to find it, but he found it no problem. We just went inside the main hall, but didn’t actually go inside of the museum. There was a book store attached to the museum and here you could find comic books in about 20 different languages…very interesting. After this visit we stopped at a little place for lunch and we sat outside on a patio. We had some real yummy Belgian Waffles. These are just the best and so tasty.

We sat around for a little while and then we were off to the Grand Place (Grote Markt). This is the main and most popular square in Brussels with very old buildings. It was so nice to see as I hadn’t been here for years. Michael was also impressed with the sights and the beautiful views. We wondered down the popular tourist streets, stopped at a few tourist shops and of course we had to stop at a café. We went to a café that offered 300 different kinds of Belgian beers…geez, what do you choose now?? I had a cherry beer, which is my favourite and Michael had a heavier beer which he liked. It was quite an interesting café. After that we went on to see Manneke Pis…the little peeing guy who is so famous. He is just a little guy, but a big attraction in Brussels. This is about all the sight for today, it was heading on for dinner time so we were going to go to a place where they serve old fashioned Belgian meals. The restaurant is called “Fin De Siècle” and you can get authentic Belgian food here. It was very tasty and so typically Belgian…I really enjoyed it very much! We took the metro back to where the car was parked and on our way home we were. We had a fantastic day and this was all thanks to Maarten and Joke…they showed us around this beautiful city and we enjoyed it soooo much! Thanks again guys!

Please see my next post "My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 10" for the rest of the story!