2018 Trip to Europe

A trip to see a cousin's wedding and the sights of Europe

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The next morning (July 6), we headed to the nearby town of Sint-Oedenrode for the civil ceremony that would marry Christopher and Charissa.

Civil ceremony of the wedding.  Bride and groom are on the right.

Later that day we attended the church wedding in the town of Veghel.
The church was really beautiful and historic.

The reception was at Castle Aldendriel near the town of Mill.
About five minutes from our hotel.  We had fun dancing into
the late night.

Instead of a driven limo, the groom rented an american muscle car.  Very unusual for Europe.

We posed in front of our car also.

Catching up with relatives and the groom in the middle.

Before leaving the hotel, we took a look at the unusual escape rooms.
This one has an actual helicopter.  We also had a full sea plane outside.
(July 7).

Before leaving the Netherlands, we also met up with my cousin in Den Bosch.
They bought us lunch and we had a nice gathering.  On to Belgium!

Our first stop in Belgium was Ghent/Gent.  This is the historic city center.

Recalling our trip to Paris from five years earlier, we had mussels
from the Bridge restaurant in the center.  We were serenaded by
a local trumpet group that were in the clock bell tower.  It
was amazing.

Trying Belgian Nuezen (noses).  These are sweet fruit-filled treats.
We also tried Belgian Waffles that day.  More good foods.

We then visited Castle Gravensteen.  It has been restored and refurbished and
looks really nice.  Great stone walls and wooden floors.

After that we headed to Ypres/Ieper. This is the site of the daily ritual called "The Last Post" that honors the war dead of the area.  A very solemn and impressive ceremony.
Prior to attending that we had another round of ice cream.

At that point, Belgium was in the semifinal against France in the 2018 Football World Cup.  Throughout the country you could see national flags and the spirit was high.
In this town, they hung 156 bras of the three colors across the town road.
See story on Liveleak.

The next day (July 9), we headed to the capital of Brussels.
This is in the Grand Place.

Selfie we did in the Grand Place.

Covered mall in Brussels.

We stayed in a roomy apartment in Ghent by the water called Edville.  
It had room for nine persons.  But once again, no air conditioning and we could
not open the windows due to the mosquitoes outside.  It was a little
uncomfortable and could have used ceiling fans, but we made the
best of it.  It did have full sized fridge.

On July 10, we went to Bruges.  This is the entry into the center of the town.

We stopped at a working windmill and toured the mechanism inside.  It was really cool to see it.  Video on Facebook.

View from the top of the mill.

That night we had dinner at Le Bistro du Forum in Reims and I had one of the best courses of duck I had ever had.  Great sauce.

The next day we headed to Amiens, France and on the way passed by Laon.  We had passed it before and thought it looked like Assisi from our previous trip to Italy.  We were so glad we stopped as the town is really beautiful.

The big cathedral in Laon.

One of the main streets in Laon.

Car entry arch at Laon.

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