Monday, July 27, 2009

Western Europe Trip in Pictures

[guest post by Ryan]

Some beautiful stained glass in a European church. The Catholic Church does know how to do imposing and grandeur. No arguments there.

Sacre-Coeur on Paris' Montmartre. Gorgeous. Pretty cool interior as well, though way too touristy for our tastes generally (but better than Notre Dame in that sense).

Ryan (me) at the North Sea, one of 9 bodies of water I've entered thus far on the trip (Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, Dardinelle Straits, Aegean Sea, Adriatic Sea, North Sea, Coral Sea)

Saint Deny statue in Paris, featuring Saint Deny carrying his head up Montmartre after he was beheaded partway up it when his executioners became too tired to walk the rest of the way up. Legend has it he then picked up his head and hiked the rest of the way up before collapsing dead at the top.

Cori feeling very special drinking champagne out of a Paris souvenir mug in front of the lighted Eiffel Tower, waiting for the hourly lights show (which actually is just them randomly turning on and off white lights all over the epileptic's nightmare).

Cori with the Mons monkey. Mons is the town in southern Belgium I lived in for some of high school. They have a gorgeous Grand Place (town square) and an inexplicable little brown monkey statue on one of the buildings in it that you rub for good luck. Especially if you're a primatologist.

Chariot in the church in Mons. Every year they put the patron saint's body (in one container above the altar) and head (in another container on the side of the church) in this chariot, pull it to midway between Mons and a nearby city, have it meet up with a chariot containing her husband's body from that neighboring city's church and then pull it back to Mons. They have to pull/push it up a hill at the end to get it back into the church. Legend has it that when they don't succeed on the first try there's bad luck that year (as in 1914 when in September Mons featured the first shots of WWI...on November 11, 1918 Mons also was the scene of the last shots of WWI).

Canals in Brugge, cute...though many of the towns we went to had canals.

Beer from the ancient brewery we stayed at in Michelen, Belgium (though sadly the bar was closed during our visit but the beer vending machines worked and several nearby restaurants served their brew):

Cori's uber-girly Hoegaarden Rosee (which was what she switched up to from other uber-girly framboises):

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