Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Visit to Flanders

The Flanders area of Belgium, more specifically Bruge (also spelled Brugge and Burges) is where lace making originally started. I was very fortunate to be able to visit Bruge. It's a wonderful city. They have a lace museum. In one room, for several hours on Saturday, women from the city gather in a room to make lace. The older women have been making lace for years. It was nice to see some younger women there learning the craft.

Here's tow of the women creating bobbin lace. The one of the left is over 90 years old and started making lace when she was a little girl. She was super fast. Both these women were working on very complicated lace.

The museum had all these supplies for sale - I could have spent a fortune and I don't even make lace. I bought the bobbins once, but never quite got the hang of it. Also, it takes about an afternoon to make about an inch or so of lace, depending on the width.

All the shop windows were full of either items made with lace or (of course) chocolate. I concentrated on the lace.

The old buildings were amazing.

We took a boat on the canal and it was beautiful. 

The entire city was clean and charming.

Here I am climbing up the latter to the top of a windmill. As you can see it was a long way up and a little scarey

After Burge, was Brussels. This was an amazing site. It's called the Atomarium. It was built for the 1958 worlds fair. It was supposed to be torn down the next year. It's been restored you can walk through the entire structure. There are escalators or stairs in the "arms." There's a restaurant at the top. We were lucky enough be be able to have lunch up there.

This is a view from the top. You can see how high up it is. It's massive.

A trip overseas always include a stop in the UK to visit family. This is one of the colleges in Cambridge. Looks a little like the buildings in Belgium don't you think?

It was the perfect time of year to visit Abbotsbury in southern England because the eggs were hatching and these cute little balls of fluff were just learning to swim.

There are thousands of swans here.

It was also the perfect time of year to visit Exbury Gardens. The rhododendrons were in full bloom. They were amazing - and very large.

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