I am surprised how many people smoke in Europe. And how many young people at that. Definitely in America and SA youngsters generally frown on smoking. Here is an cigarettes dispenser, something I have not seen in a very long time. And while Netherland and Germany might be clean, there are cigarette buts everywhere. As an ex smoker, I have kept myself from becoming one of those rabid anti smoker types, but I must say, smoking in a restaurant sucks man.
In Aachen in Germany there are some really nice buildings. It is a smallish place, nice vibe with many university students around. I do declare my neck suffered from whiplash looking at all the babes around.
Downtown Aachen. Very relaxed, very cool, lots of people just chillin’ out.
Now if there is one food in Germany I like it, has to be curry bratwurst and chips. It is sort of like the national junk food of Germany, a little bit like a bic Mac is to America. I checked this out on a culinary program a few years back and I made up my mind that when I get to Germany I am going to scoff this one. Sigh, why is it that junk food is so nice?
Aachen has a brilliant down town sort of square with all kind of eating places. Clean, neat and ordered, just like I like it after the questionable hygiene of St Maarten.
We went to Belgium to Neerpelt, to deliver a pendant that Ingrid had ordered from us in St Maarten.
Generally, I find the countryside a bit bland in Belgium.
However, there is nothing bland about the food and beer in Belgium. That evening we went to a very nice restaurant and sampled some real local beers, including on made by the local Monks from the monastery. Great company, great food and great beer. Doesn't get much better than that!
On the way to the pub there were some old cars parked in the parking lot. Like circa 1926.
Love old cars like this. Check out the crank handle in the front. This is the thing your wife turns for you to start your car. This arrangement men found to be less than ideal, so they invented a electrical starter motor, because electrical starter motors were found to nag and moan less--------( juuuust kidding..)
When night time came the church at in the town square gets lighten up. Very impressive.
I just had to take a picture of this building, which was built in 1632. That makes it twenty years earlier than when Jan van Riebeeck landed in SA.
Belgium houses could be kindly described as plain on the outside. This is an average house.
Here is another one.
This is Trentham and Ingrid new house that has just been completed. But don’t be fooled by the plain exterior.
This one has a beautiful kitchen with all the bells and whistles, and all the appliances are Siemens. Very well put together.
One view of the living room.
So even though they are plain on the outside this house has all the modern gizmo’s.
It has three stories and plenty of space.
With a sizable front yard. I am told that the property prices are a third less than in the Netherlands, so a lot of Dutch own property here. And it is amazing to me how cheap the utilities are. For instance, gas is piped to all the houses and that takes care of heating and cooking, So the gas, water and electricity comes to about 200 Euro per month. We, on the contrary, paid $1000 per month for just water and lights per month in St Maarten. An we heated our water and cooked on gas. So it was crazy expensive for us there.
That night we parked outside the house and just dossed in FrankenFurter. Next morning we said our goodbyes and we headed to the Hague, where we will spend the next four days or so.