Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OSTENDE - SAILING SHIPS FESTIVAL

Ostend at anchor

Each year a sailing ship festival called "Ostend At Anchor" takes place in Ostend's port just in front of the station. There are around 150 sailing ships anchored, which you are allowed to visit. Last year there were two hundred thousand visitors who came to watch boats between 65, (213ft )135, (443ft) and 6.5 (21 ft)meters.

I took the train from Brussels to Ostend and walked around the habour.

The first sailing ship I saw was the famous replica of the "Bounty" which was built in 1960 for the MGM Studios for the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty" with Marlon Brando and later also used of course for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" with Jonny Depp. But I will write a special post about this ship.

sailing boats from all countries and all sizes

You can see the Ostend Station in the background

Besides the Bounty which had the most visitors of course, there were other big sailing ships

The Mercedes

Sailor's family enjoying a drink with their two "Dackels" (Dachshound)

There was really a wood of masts !

along the port where these white stalls in which paintings, artcrafts, clothes, etc were sold

a view on the station again

There were quiet a few boats coming from England too, like here from London

Captains from different ships had a drink together here

Sailor's songs filled the air, there were even bands from Ireland

I

On my way back to the station I was close to the Bounty's "nose"

Lots of stalls sold food from Hamburgers to smoked fish, and even fish & chips !

Musicians on the boat and three men singing old sailor's songs

There were more and more people arriving

Here I could see how fish was smoked. I almost got smoked too. It was very interesting to see.

and at the end of my walk along the haven and the boats I stopped in a tent where women showed how to spin yarn, and make baskets.

After a portion of seafood salad, a coffee and a crêpe (thin Belgian pancake) I took my train back, happy that I had spent such a nice and interesting day.

more participants here

Monday, May 23, 2011

GRAND'PLACE BRUSSELS AND SURROUNDINGS

The easiest way to get to the Grand'Place in the center of Brussels is the train, as it is almost impossible to drive there and to find a parking space except in the official Parking buildings, but they are more expensive than a train ticket at least for me as a "Senior".

I had seen the scarecrow exposition (post below) and did a little walk around the Grand'Place before I returned home.

There is a new section of the Central station which leads you directly to the "Place Sablon" and the Grand Place.

It all had recently renovated

and enlarged. There are new shops and cafés. The extension is not so well known yet and therefore there weren't many people in this part of the station.

When I arrived at the Grand'Place it was packed with tourists !

and a wedding started at the City Hall. People living in Brussels itself the civil marriages are taking place in this beautiful building.

They are are allowed to wave from the Balcony as a Prince and Princess.

From the Grand Place I went to the Gallery Agora, which is just besides, I didn't need anything special, I just wanted to return

when this entrance draw my attention, I thought it was a new Nightclub, but no it was the entrance of the public restrooms ! Lots of people didn't dare to go inside, seeing two acquariums and such a nice decoration and asked where the toilets are, when I finally also noticed the sign WC above the door !

Coming out of the Gallery,

I arrived at the Agora Square where artcrafts, paintings, jewelry etc. is sold in these little red tents.

For the moment there are a lot of events in Brussels, I don't really know what they prepared here.

More participants here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

GRAND' PLACE BRUSSELS - SCARECROW EXPOSITION

Each year Brussels’ Grand’Place is invaded by scarecrows, as the annual Lion’s Scarecrow Charity Competition comes to town in May. The weather was so beautiful that I went there again to see the exposition.

The place was crowded with tourists from all over the world

There were flower stands

people enjoying food or drink in the sunshine

I too had a glass here

The last efforts to keep the scarecrow standing up and an unexpected view !

It just had started and already tired

There were quiet some fancy scarecrows, as here one out of wafel dough. I got a piece of the little fence.

This one was made out of hundreds of little pieces of fabric

A real scary one made with old film strips and rolls and flower pots

I don't know if this bird was a crow, but it was sitting there attached with a string

I was impressed by the creativity of the exposing people, the scarecrows were not really made to chase birds away in a field !

More participantshere

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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