Long Weekend Highlights

By - June 6, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

It’s Monday again… It seems like there are way more Mondays than any other day. How does that work? Anyway, last week was a busy one. Tuesday, when I wrote the last blog, was the only day I was home all day. Wednesday we went back down to Brussels to sign the lease on the new place. We got a bank account set up as well. All I can say is thank God we decided to get an agent to help us or we would have been totally lost. As it was, it was pretty overwhelming and a bit scary but it’s done now and another worry is taken care of.

We went back to the house as well to take another look around. I’m looking forward to it. There’s lots of room and it’s very bright. The kitchen is small but has loads of storage and the living room/dining room is huge.

Our landlord and lady seem nice. They are older and live nearby. The landlady was a bit concerned about the dog but the landlord seems very easy going so hopefully with a bit of sucking up we’ll be in the good books. The whole process is definitely different than how it’s done in Canada but when it comes down to it the terms and responsibilities are more or less the same. I’m really looking forward to the little yard. There are neighbors with chickens and there is a donkey in the yard right behind ours. It seems very rural but yet we’re only 15 mins or so from Brussels.

Andrew took Thursday and Friday off to recover from his weeks in Belgium. The weekend was rather rainy but we still had some fun.

Thursday we went to Ikea to scope out the furniture we will need for the new place. It will be cheap and basic because we have to buy so much stuff when we first get there, but hopefully we can find some fun stuff over time.

Friday we walked to the Asian grocery and the market to find things to make sushi. We made the sushi in the afternoon and then got haircuts. Mine is now super short. My hairdresser wanted to know if I liked Celine Dion because he did but he didn’t like Shania Twain… Yay Canada.

That evening we met up with a friend of Andrew’s from work who was backpacking with his girlfriend and two Americans they had picked up along the way. We took them to Los Pilones and had supper and drinks. It was nice to have conversations in English without feeling guilty. It was also nice to be the ‘experts’ for a night and not feel like we are completely clueless about everything.

Saturday was rainy again so we drove to Den Haag and went to Escher in Het Paleis (Escher in the Palace), which is the M.C. Escher museum It was fantastic. They had just about all of his works and lots of photos and sketches that he had done. It was presented very well and we learned a lot about what influenced his art. It was very enjoyable. Afterwards we took a little stroll around the park nearby and then headed home.

Yesterday was mystery drive day. We took the back roads and headed to Geithoorn, which is supposed to be ‘the Venice of the Netherlands.’ About the only thing it had in common with Venice was a canal but it was very pretty. It is a National Trust village and all of the houses are quaint and have thatched roofs. Sadly most of them are for sale (oddly enough people don’t seem to enjoy the scads of tourists traipsing through their town.) It was interesting to visit but there are so many other beautiful villages in the Netherlands that aren’t crawling with tourists that I can’t see myself rushing back there. In that case I think the journey was better than the destination as we had a nice time driving through the country side.

It looks like rain for most of the week ahead so it should give me an opportunity to play with my stamps and make some cards.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by Helen

    Helen June 6, 2005 at 12:01

    Sounds wonderful. Glad you are getting out and about. The Escher exhibit sounds very interesting.
    Keep up the sightseeing, hopefully something will be still around when we get over, if we ever do.

  2. Comment by Bill

    Bill June 7, 2005 at 22:14

    The house sounds great … it will be nice to be settled and have time to enjoy it!! Did the Escher show talk about the Lunenburg connection? I’ll have to check myself as my recall is a little foggy … an environmental hazard any day in Lunenburg!

  3. Comment by Al

    Al June 8, 2005 at 06:25

    No Lunenburg … They talked a lot about his time in Spain. I bought a book though so I’ll have to look that up.

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