Tuesday, October 17, 2017


17 Oct 2017

Once a year since 1965 the Palace of Brussels is open to the public after the National Holiday of 21 July until end September. There is no entrance fee, it's for everybody. I went there with my friend from France. The last time I had been there must have been in 1966 and I could hardly remember a thing. This year you were even allowed to take pictures without flash.

The Royal Palace of Brussels is the King’s administrative residence and main workplace, where he works daily with his staff. In his office at the Brussels palace, the King receives the representatives of political institutions, foreign guests (heads of state, ambassadors) and other guests. In addition to the office of the King and of the Queen, the Royal Palace plays host to the services of the King’s Household: the King’s Cabinet, the General Secretariat, the Civil List, the Military Household, the Protocol and the Queen’s Secretariat. The other members of the Royal Family also have an office at the Brussels Palace, where their staff work. The Palace comprises also prestige reception rooms where various activities of the King and the Royal Family are organised (work meetings and, receptions, concerts, lunches, etc.).

The palace from outside

And the view the Royale family has when waving from the palace to the crowd

The staircase

and then we went from room to room, beautifully decorated and all with very amazing lustres !

A little selfie

Rooms for little private receptions

Probably one King used to play piano to make a break

The picture on the wall shows the very first Belgian King, a German prince

Probably the King's desk

In one room an exhibition took place of the paintings of the actual King Philips uncle, his father's brother. He kind of was always hidden from the people and I didn't even know that he was a painter and he painted real well. But King Philip apparently loved this uncle and for the first time showed his works

I even found "Stonehenge"

The parquet in all rooms was just amazing made out of different kind of woods

The ceiling covered with scarab wing cases

and the lustre

This very special room,  under the reign of Leopold II, evokes the Congo. The walls are decorated with marble and copper. King Albert I had the works completed with mirrors on the walls,
Looking at it, Heaven of Delight looks like a beautiful painting, but in reality, it’s made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases !!!!

In the 19th century, it was customary for the king of Belgium to give a space in the Royal Palace to contemporary artists. This tradition died with King Leopold II, in 1909. Fortunately, Queen Paola is an art enthusiast and decided to revive the custom by commissioning an artwork by artist Jan Fabre.

With the help of 29 young artists, Fabre created Heaven of Delight, a fresco in the Hall of Mirrors, completely out of the glowing shells of jewel-scarabs. It contains various shapes that glow in a greenish-blue light, depending on the angle from which they are viewed.

Jewel-beetles are not a protected species so it was easy to gather them from countries like Thailand, where they are eaten as a delicacy, and use them for his Heaven of Delight. This masterpiece can be admired in the Royal Palace of Brussels

Another "little" room

and so many lustres sparkling in the rooms !

I nearly twisted my neck when I looked up to admire the ceilings !

These are ornaments, a clock, a statue, the highest order and a doorknob.

If you want to read more detailed about each room it is here

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Another stop which impressed me very much was the Giant's Causeway ! I had seen quite a lot of nature's strange creations a little bit all over the world, but I had never seen something like that !

The whole area looked as if somebody had cut huge columns shorter or even very short

Under the watchful eyes of guardians people climbed on the columns a special feeling certainly

I preferred to watch (if somebody fell) how people like goats jumped from column to column.

With the blue sea in the back ground it was indeed a very special view ! People sat down and admired the beautiful landscape.

The Causeway was created over 60 million years ago following a volcanic eruption. The formation of the Giant's Causeway was due to intense volcanic activity.

It was included on the World Heritage site list in November 1986. It is on the list as both a cultural and natural site, one of only 25 in the world.

The Giant's Causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland. Geological studies of these formations over the last 300 years have greatly contributed to the development of the earth sciences, and show that this striking landscape was caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary, some 50-60 million years ago.

Nature's "modern art"

More romantic is of course what the Popular mythology attributes to the creation of the Causeway. An Irish giant named Finn MacCool, to prove his superior strength and status, decided to fight against a rival Scottish giant named Benandonner. As there was no boat large enough to carry huge Finn across the sea to confront Bennandonner, he built his own pathway of stepping stones from Ireland to Scotland. He then was able to walk across the sea without getting his feet wet.

When he crossed the sea, however, he saw just how large Benandonner was. He ran back to Ireland before Bennandonner saw him, but the causeway was built and Bennandonner came to fight. Finn crawled into a crib and when Bennandonner came to the door to fight him, his wife told him not to wake the baby. Seeing just how large Finn's "baby" was, Bennandonner grew afraid and ran back to Scotland, tearing up the causeway as he went to prevent Finn following him.

Inside the visitor center were a screen and seats and you could watch the story as a film with comic figures ! Unfortunately my pictures wouldn't get the first price, but it gives you an idea of the mythic story. Earth eruption - lava floating - water cooling lava off - Bennandonner discovers the other side, tries to get over but failed and Finn won ! Look at his proud face.

The film was interesting and impressive, but I didn't get a nightmare.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


My friend Bunny (she was born at Easter) and I took the opportunity to visit the Diana Fashion Show at Kensington Palace in London. For us it is so easy to go, it takes 2 h from Brussels to London. I know Bunny since I was a young girl from 1961 on !

Our Bed and Breakfast with the posh name of "Carlton" was directly opposite King's Cross where we arrived. We left our luggage, and off we went for our London adventure.

The Kensington Palace still with some flowers and a long letter to Diana

I had seen the palace before so I only concentrated on the fashion show

The weather was sunny and the park inviting !

Then the exhibition started with portraits of Diana from when she met Charles until they divorced.

Fashion designs of different dress models were hanging on the wall

and then came all these beautiful dresses with the description when and where she had worn the dress.

She had been a real model, tall and slim and even a potato bag would have looked very elegant on her.

This was the dress she wore when she danced with John Travolta. There were still many people in the middle of the week and nearly at the end of the exhibition.

Once finished we took a double decker bus. My friend should see London from above and not as a mole in the underground.

So we took buses from one destination to the other changed, looked around and admired the architecture which we both love.

when we were in a hurry we took the tube ! That too she had to see, because the last time she had been in London was over 50 years ago, when she came here to study !

Various buses took us to Big Ben who actually gets a facelifting which should last 4 years and during this time he will remain dumb !

From the bridge we could see the old docks which had become "Little Dubai" to me and if I can I avoid this area ! Too modern for my taste.

Sir Churchill hasn't lost a kg despite the Brexit which certainly he disapproves !

The London Eye(s) watched over the tourists

Before we continued we had a well earned drink in a Pub.

The next day we wanted to see the Queen, she was there apparently, but had no time for us. So we did like all the others we looked through the grids into the cage castle.

What is sadly funny now, is that the Queen's guards are guarded by anti terrorist guards with machine guns. Looks quite impressive !

Good old Victoria still sits at the same place and looks at the crowd.

Of course we also went to Covent garden where we had a nice cup of tea and a less nice scone. It should have been called stone.

And then it was already time to return to St. Pancras and catch the Eurostar

From the Bus I saw this funny Pub

and the hairdresser !

Before we left I had my jacket potato with cheddar cheese in the only Pub which existed already when St. Pancras wasn't famous for it's Eurostar and there was nothing around.

We were in time for the train and very happy about our excursion.


About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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