Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 |

Table of Content for trips:

More pages: February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997



2016/12/31 Paris, Musée des Egouts, Tour Eiffel, Coulée Verte, Place des Voges
π 2016-12-31 00:00 in Paris, Trips
After meeting Mathias in Paris, we went to spend the afternoon in Paris. We started with Musée des Egouts. We got to learn how most streets in Paris have an underground street for sewers and the machiens they use to clean all the crap that accumulates in the tunnels:






old Paris during Roman times
old Paris during Roman times

early plan of the underground sewer system
early plan of the underground sewer system

the big balls they use to clean the tunnels
the big balls they use to clean the tunnels

After that museum, we walked to the Effeil tower:

new orthodox church built recently
new orthodox church built recently





Android Nougat in front of Nougat. Well done Mathias :)
Android Nougat in front of Nougat. Well done Mathias :)








A later day, we walked by the Xmas store displays:





And yet another day, we walked La Coulée Verte, a nice green path through Paris using the right of way of an old train line not in use anymore:







Then, we finished with Place des Voges and Victor Hugo's house:






There are also plenty of art stores there:







And that was it for this year, not too much, but then again we spent a bunch of our time in [Belgium this year|/perso/belgium

2016/12/28 48 hours in Bruxelles
π 2016-12-28 00:00 in Belgium, Trips
After [a partial day in Ghent|perso/belgium/post_2016-12-27_Partial-Day-in-Ghent.html], we took an evening train to Bruxelles, checked in at l'Epicentre, our B&B in an authentic historical narrow building that was challenging to get into with luggage, but the location was hard to beat and our host was super nice and helpful.

a mere 30mn from Ghent to Bruxelles
a mere 30mn from Ghent to Bruxelles


it was 'fun' to get our luggage up the stairs :)
it was 'fun' to get our luggage up the stairs :)

On our way down, we walked by grand place, beautiful, and went by the famous manneken pis on the way too:




We then went to Alexandre for Dinner



The next morning, we had breakfast at our B&B and headed out for a walk while everything was closed (nothing opened before 10:00, sadly, making the day kind of short). We ended up at Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur à Koekelberg when they opened at 10:00 and went to the top for so so views due to the fog not having quite lifted yet:





every city seems to have a ferris wheel now :)
every city seems to have a ferris wheel now :)

finally we made it to Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur à Koekelberg thanks to uber, still foggy at 10:00
finally we made it to Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur à Koekelberg thanks to uber, still foggy at 10:00





it did look better by the time we left :)
it did look better by the time we left :)

From the Basilique, we walked to the Chocolate Village Museum and had an informative tour


From there, we took the subway to the Atomium and Mini Europe:


We did mini Europe first, which was fun


We then went to the atomium, which I figured was a bit of a washed out attraction during low season, so I didn't worry much about lines. I was wrong, there was a 2H+ line to get in. Even with line optimization, it took us a while to get up. The main line was to get to the top, which had reasonable views. Then you had a different entrance to see just a portion of the balls, the other ones were not in use anymore, which was a bit of a shame, but the remaining ones had some expos inside:






escalators or stairs between the balls
escalators or stairs between the balls



part of the expo recounted when Belgium still had an airline, Sabena (since then bankrupt)
part of the expo recounted when Belgium still had an airline, Sabena (since then bankrupt)


nice plane food back then
nice plane food back then

Once done with mini Europe and Atomium, much later than I had planned, we took another uber to the Comic Book Museum. Belgium is probably the capital of the world on commic books, especially in variety, I grew up with them:




Hergé is famous for the great job he did with Tintin, but he was just one of many
Hergé is famous for the great job he did with Tintin, but he was just one of many

the museum pointed out that the first comic strips actually came from the egyptians
the museum pointed out that the first comic strips actually came from the egyptians


I also loved the schtroumpfs (smurfs)
I also loved the schtroumpfs (smurfs)





After the museum closed, everything was closed, so we went back to Grand Place to see the light show on the buildings. Click on the video for more:



We then walked around to see the little Xmas houses and get dinner:





During our short time in Bruxelles, we say many chocolate shops, as well as beer shops, and those were only a very small sample:

beautiful Galeries Royales St Hubert, filled with shops
beautiful Galeries Royales St Hubert, filled with shops














The next morning, we went to the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, which was nice enough to open at 09:00:








Inside the museum was a very nice (and cold) hangar filled with planes


And across the street was a great car collection at Autoworld


After Autoworld, we walked to the Google Office for a quick visit


And nearby was the European Parliament, where we went to visit Parliamentarium:





We when used the little time left to see Mont des Arts, Place Royale, and Église Notre-Dame du Sablon before we had to head back to the train station for our fast train back to Paris (just 1h15) and have a reveillon dinner with my dad:






See more images for 48 hours in Bruxelles
2016/12/27 Partial Day in Ghent
π 2016-12-27 00:00 in Belgium, Trips
After finishing breakfast in Holland after our family gathering, I drove back to Beligum to Ghent (barely one hour) and found the nearest parking lot where we could leave the car for the day.


Sadly it was foggy, so we didn't get great views from the towers there, but we still had a good time enjoying the views, little Xmas houses, and another canal boat ride:

Sint Michielskerk
Sint Michielskerk


Saint Nicholas' Church
Saint Nicholas' Church

sadly, not much of a view from the top of those churches, bummer... (Belfort and Saint Bravo's Cathedral)
sadly, not much of a view from the top of those churches, bummer... (Belfort and Saint Bravo's Cathedral)

So, we went to Saint Bavo's Cathedral while hoping that the fog would lift:










They have a very nice triple panel painting, which you can see closed and noon, and opened the rest of the time:




We then went back to Belfort tower, but the fog didn't lift




Sigh...
Sigh...



Music box that actuates the bells of Belfort
Music box that actuates the bells of Belfort

Ghent was full of little Xmas houses. We went to see a few:






chocolate tools, yummy
chocolate tools, yummy





Just like Bruges, the canals were nice to see and do a ride on:






narrowest house in Ghent
narrowest house in Ghent






From the canal ride, we went to see Castle Gravensteen:




just like the rest of Ghent, the view wasn't fantastic due to fog
just like the rest of Ghent, the view wasn't fantastic due to fog




Before long, it started getting dark, got a few pictures:


We then went back to the train station, drop off the rental car, and took a train to Bruxelles:

err, where did I put my bike? :)
err, where did I put my bike? :)

See more images for Partial Day in Ghent
2016/12/26 24H in Bruges
π 2016-12-26 00:00 in Belgium, Trips

Since we were going to Holland, close to the Belgian border, I figured we should take a few days to visit Belgium. It was only 4 days, not enough, but then again, that's what we had. We started early on December 26th with a Thalys high speed train to Bruxelles and a connection to Bruges. We got there in only 2h20 or so.

first time I've seen X-Ray machines before boarding a train
first time I've seen X-Ray machines before boarding a train


Once in Bruges we went directly to our B&B (Saint Sauveur, Bruges), run by a super nice French lady who gave us loaner bikes so that we get around more quickly (mind you Bruges is very walkable, but bikes helped us get around a bit more quickly, especially when we went to the edge of town).
Most people do Bruges in 2-3 days, we did pretty much all of it in 26 hours :) (and that includes waiting for things that only opened at 10:00), delaying us quite a bit:


Saint Salvator Cathedral
Saint Salvator Cathedral

Church of Our Lady
Church of Our Lady






Then, we went to walk around:





We then did a boat tour, a good way to look around:













The main plaza was next, starting with Belfy Tower, which we climbed to the top after a 30mn wait in line:











music box for the bells
music box for the bells

We then did the rest of the main plaza and the museum there:













Next, we went to the chocolate museum, where we had only 35mn before it closed (everything closes early):










We then went to visit the bruges story museum, which thankfully closed after 17:00, unlike everything else:




Main Plaza looks great at night too of course:




We then went out for dinner to conclude our day:



The next morning, we had to wait for museums to open. One of them opened at 09:30 instead of 10:00, how nice:












We then biked to the city gate:






And we finished our trip by visiting the French Fry Museum (which of course are not French, but Belgian):





We then had to pick up our rental car, and drive to our Dutch Family gathering.

See more images for 24H in Bruges

More pages: February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997