Monday, June 8, 2009

Exploring The Area

I am branching out a little more into the local area. This is another view of Peer. Bikes rule the country, and they always have the right of way. The red paths along each side of the road are bike paths. You are not allowed to park on them, and you constantly have to keep an eye out for the bikes at intersections, because they don't stop. They know they have the right of way, and just assume you will stop when they cross in front of you. There are more bike paths than there are roads. You can travel anywhere you want in Belgium on a bike path.
I went to the Antique market in Tongeren on Sunday with a new friend. Russ and the kids stayed home. They aren't big into shopping for "old stuff". They have the market every Sunday. Tongeren is the oldest city in Belgium. It's beautiful. Lots of narrow roads that wrap around the city center, where you find the Basilica. This is a picture of part of the basilica. I didn't get any good pictures there, because it started to rain when we finished shopping. Good timing on that. The market is in the city center, just down a winding road from the basilica.

This is a statute of Ambiorix. He rallied his people to fight against Julius Caesar in the first century BC. I try to read a little about the areas that I get to visit. Maybe this will improve our knowledge of history. (It certainly couldn't hurt.) The statute is right across from the basilica. It's in a little open area where there are a lot of stores and cafes. The antique market is really large, and winds through the streets of the city center. There are a couple of big warehouses (one is more like an open parking garage) where they have a lot of stands set up, because it does tend to rain here a lot. We lucked out and finished our shopping before the rain really started. Then we enjoyed a cappuccino and waffle at a local cafe. (If you are curious, the waffle comes with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on it, and you can order toppings. I got fresh cherries and whipped cream.. YUM! Michelle got cherries and chocolate syrup.) I hope to go back soon and take Russ and the kids. They aren't big on the shopping, but they will love to explore the city. I'll be my normal tourist self next time and take lots of pictures. (I was trying to blend in a little more this time, and my big camera kind of gives me away. Let's just say that I learned on the second day that the word "tourist" is international. It just sounds better when they say it.)


Gretchen said...

Nice job on this blog....I felt like I was there. I could almost taste those waffles. Yummmmmm...I would have ordered the chocolate with the whip cream for sure!!!

GrizzlyBarb said...

Thanks a bunch! It was great! I plan on taking the family back there to check the city out. Maybe we can try a different topping on the waffles, then. The choc syrup did look REALLY good. I still haven't tried the frites. Can you believe we ate at Burger King yesterday? We went to Shinnen (about an hour away) and they have one there on that base. It was a little taste of home.

Anonymous said...

It must be horrible with all of those pesky bikes !

BelgiumBarb said...

The bikes aren't bad, I'm just not used to so many of them on the roads. Some days it seems that there are more bikes than cars.