Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last leg of summer 2013 road trip, D-Day beaches

After the lighthearted first six days of the vacation our road trip became much more serious. We drove up to the north coast of France to visit the D-Day beaches. These beaches (in fact most of Europe) were the scenes of astonishing examples of bravery and tragedy during WWII. It’s too bad humans haven’t learned anything from all the wars we’ve  had except how to make more deadly weapons. Not even I am able to do anything about this. Everywhere Florrie and Chris take us we pray to the local gods for world peace, but it hasn’t worked yet.


Our hotel was on Juno Beach, there is still evidence of the battles there.


People from many parts of the world fought together on this battlefield. Here is the memorial build to honor all those who fought there.


Omaha Beach was another stop on the trip with still another memorial to honor the dead.


Every beach had it’s own memorial and almost everywhere we went there was a museum. We didn’t go into all of them. Here is a collection of museum pictures. Nemo and I enjoyed exploring the exhibits.

This is part of a portable harbor built during the invasion.


There is a video on YouTube but I don’t know how to embed it; we didn’t have all this newfangled technology when I was walking the earth. Here is the link if you want to check it out:

Parts of the cliffs above the beaches are still covered with bomb craters


and pill boxes.


We all imagine it was scary for the Germans looking out this pill box when they saw all the ships out there.


We also went to the American Cemetery which was very moving. There was a museum and personal stories of some of the men and women buried there.


We have been to other Cemeteries like this and are never able to leave with dry eyes, no matter who is buried there.

Chris was able to do some fishing (but no catching) one day.


We drove through some charming little towns on our trip.


One of the towns was Bayeux which is famous for  The Bayeux Tapestry.


Many of you know that we spend two weeks most summers at Pennsic, which is a two week medieval festival. The Bayeux Tapestry plays an important part in Pennsic life. In fact, do you see the blond centaur on the top border? Florrie has embroidered her in the Bayeux Tapestry style and she lives in our tent during Pennsic. 


Well, we must all say good-bye, or Ciao for now. We are about to start on a new adventure! Our next blog will be all about our rather sudden move from Germany to Italy.  We lived in Italy before we started this blog. We were in Gaeta which was on the Mediterranean, almost exactly half way between Rome and Naples. This time we will be even further south, all the way down to Sicily. We are hoping to find as cool a place as our last home in Italy, but this time with a view of the ocean and the volcano!

This is our 11th year in DoDDS and our 5th big move. Crazy!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

July 9, 2013 Bruges

I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get this blog together but Florrie has been busy at work and neither Nemo nor I are equipped to type. We have  wanted to visit Bruges ever since we watched the movie In Bruges when we were living in Guantanamo Bay. After our escape from  GTMO (I tried to link to this post but can’t seem to make it work, if you are interested in reading about our escape it’s one of two posts from January 2011) we ended up in Japan so we had to wait awhile, but we finally made it. Bruges was the second stop of our summer road trip.  Bruges is an old walled city. In fact, the whole inner city is a UNESCO world heritage site.


We were all excited when we saw our hotel, it was right on a little canal.



We could look out our window and see all the goings on below, or we could sit below and enjoy the beauty and serenity of our little area.


Everyone at the hotel was wonderful, the breakfast was good, and the room and view were amazing. We’d highly recommend the Europe Hotel to anyone who wants to check out Bruges.


To help us with our In Bruges explorations we picked up this handy little guide and set out.


Here is an album of our tour.

We were all impressed with the many whimsical statues in the area.

Florrie had a disconcerting experience climbing the 366 steps to the top of this belfry. The lady in front of her kept saying, “Oh please Jesus, if I fall catch me”. As I was comfortably riding in Florrie’s purse all she could think was please lady don’t fall Jesus is not going to get out of this purse in time!


Nemo and I also enjoyed the little side trips we took.


canal rides                       ancient ruins


The oldest pub in Bruges where we hung out with some new friends and sampled the local brew.


Florrie took Nemo and me for a long walk out of the city to an area known for its windmills. We had to leave the city through another gated area, sort of like the back door.



Here we are looking out the window of the red windmill towards the white windmill.


Florrie and Chris took more pictures for Florrie’s sister, who shall remain nameless.




This street has seven houses each in a different style, these the seven styles you can see through Bruges.

DSCN5555 You know Florrie and her love of alleys and dark places.



More canal rides, the canal areas were all amazing.



Until next time salukes.