Saturday, June 25, 2011


Antwerp central station holds the terminal with the oldest railway track in Belgium between Brussels and Antwerp. It is said that the interiors can be compared to any European palace.

Train station
Cathedral of Our Lady, one of the first gothic masterpieces in Europe, was for many centuries the tallest building in the Low Countries and is the tallest one in Antwerp City.

"The Brabo Statue at the Grote Market is dedicated to Barbo who once saved the city from a giant named Antigoon, who used to chop off hands if travellers refused to pay toll for crossing the Scheldt River. It was Barbo who fought with giant and chopped off his hand and threw it in the river. The words ‘hand throwing’ when translated in dutch mean ‘Hantwerpen’, hence the city’s name ‘Antwerpen’. The statue holds a lot of symbolic value for Antwerp’s residents."

Snap shots...

Steve and Alex taking a snuggle break

Sue, Steve, and Becky (Our Lady's cathedral in background)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pictures from the week...

Bronwen's friend Emilio's 2nd birthday party...

Chasing bubbles

B in front of our apartment

Steve's father's day present (a photo of he and the kids in Italy taken on Jeff's phone)
Bronwen has consistently used her "potty chair" for 3 days so we have been spoiling her with all kinds of treats...

Alex benefits from B's success:)

B's first mani-pedi :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Misc. photos...

On Wednesday we went to Pretland, a huge indoor playland in Gent.  It's perfect for rainy days and the kids LOVE it!

It's fun for big kids too:)

Baby trampoline, genius!

Bronwen and Emilio wrestling
My egg this morning:)
We went to the flower market on father's day while Steve is in Abu Dhabi :(  We had Grandma Becky and Auntie Sue with us and met a group of friends, it was great day!
B & Emilio

Passiflora, beautiful!

B, Emilio, and Lilly dancing to the orchestra.
Alex and Great Aunt Sue
Picnic on the canal with Grandma Becky and Aunie Sue, it was a little windy :)

Monday, June 13, 2011


Brandenburg Gate
"After WWII:
The gate, which had become a symbol of Prussian militarism, was badly damaged during World War II. After the war and the division of Berlin, the Brandenburger Gate was right at the border between East and West Berlin, just inside the Russian sector.

Berlin Wall:
After the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 which was built right near the Brandenburger Tor, the Pariser Platz, on the East-Berlin side, became completely desolate. The gate symbolized Germany's division. With the fall of the wall in 1989, people flocked to the reopened Brandenburger Gate to celebrate."

Steve in front of Brandenburg gate.

Brandenburg gate

Checkpoint Charlie

"Ten days after closing the border on August 13, 1961 tourists from abroad, diplomats and the military personnel of the Western Powers were only allowed to enter East Berlin via the crossing point at Berlin Friedrichstrasse.

Soon the US military police opened the third checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse. The other two checkpoints were Helmstedt at the West German-East German border and Dreilinden at the West Berlin and East Germany border. Based on the phonetic alphabet the Helmstedt checkpoint was called Alpha, Dreilinden Checkpoint Bravo and the checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse got the name Charlie.

 A copy of the American guardhouse was errected on the original place on August 13, 2000."

Becky at "Checkpoint Charlie"
 The Wall

"The Berlin Wall was erected in the night of August 13, 1961.  It was a weekend and most Berliners slept while the East German government begun to close the border. In the early morning of that Sunday most of the first work was done: the border to West Berlin was closed. The East German troups had begun to tear up streets and to install barbed wire entanglement and fences through Berlin.

The first concrete elements and large square blocks were used first on August 15, 1961. Within the next months the first generation of the Berlin Wall was build up: a wall consisting of concrete elements and square blocks.

A second Wall was build in June 1962 in order to prevent from escaping to the West.

The first Wall was improved during the next years and it's difficult to distinguish between the first and the second generation of the Wall.

These two first generations were removed by the third generation beginning about 1965. The third generation of Wall consisted of concrete slabs between steel girder and concrete posts with a concrete sewage pipe on top of the Wall.

From the year 1975 the third generation of Wall was replaced by the fourth generation. New concrete segements were used which were easy to build up and were more resistant to breakthroughs and to environmental polutions.

A 140 meter long section of the Berlin Wall was re-erected by the museum on October 31, 2004 and nearby, a field of 1,065 crosses represents all victims of the East German border system." 

A monument along the wall portraying the grim history in Germany between 1933-1945

More Pictures...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More pictures from the Turpen's visit...

Canal cruise

Picture taken in the cistern under the castle in Gent

view from castle

Lauren and B sharing a waffle

The castle in Gent

Alex in the castle

Splash of color in an otherwise drizzly grey day.