Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arrival and Downtime: Brussels, Den Haag, and a little layover in Frankfurt. The town. 

If you don't know the basics about me yet, find, and then come back here!

So Justin (husband) is with me until the end of the month when I go to Austria. First lesson we learned: Fly Lufthansa. Always. Not only was it cheaper and easier to get more choices with them, but the service was outstanding. The attendant that sat across from us 
on the exit row is a native of Frankfurt, the Lufthansa hub, 
and urged us to go downtown since we had six hours to kill. 
And so we did!

Alte Oper, Frankfurt. Because of course they have two opera houses. Find the tiny me! 
Strudel Strudel Strudel! Far, Kirschenkugel with Strudel, Near, Plum  something with Strudel. 

Then on to a groggy day in Brussels and lots of good food. The frites at dinner with my mussels were so good I called them potato goddesses. I've made a point to go to the best frite houses in Brussels and Antwerp at the Cafe à l'Opera next to the Monnaie beat them. Or maybe it's since I didn't sleep for 36 hours. 

Grand Place, Brussels. What you can never see well in pictures is all the gold leaf. 

It makes the square bright even under clouds. 
And on to  friend time and pretending we are locals in The Hague/Den Haag. Sadly, my Dutch accent is better than my French- guess which one I studied? Bodes well for my German plans this fall, though. Yesterday  J and I both got to practice for a couple hours at the Catholic church- he in preparation for the concert Friday night, and I in prep for  Alpenkammermusik in Liesing/Lesachtal, Austria.  There's a Liesing right outside Vienna, and it's not that one, so I list the area name as well if you want to Google it.  The boys, Kyle and Mic, have gotten the local English Catholic church to make a hoopla 
about Justin coming to Den Haag and there will be postings 
about this fabulous dinner and concert after Friday night. 

Our former student/now colleague and singer-pianist-teacher Kyle is lending his apartment as he is house-sitting for some US ex-pat friends across town and it's beautiful. 
Sunny again this morning!
Window-walls on two sides- light is very important the farther north you live here. 

The apartment is at the intersection of two canals- fun!
I was going to exercise this morning, but we are renting bikes today and I don't want to waste my legs running if we're going to the beach later. Running here is wasting your legs- we walk everywhere and for me, it's enough that I have that delayed I-worked-out-feeling each morning.  The church alone is over a mile to get there; I'm not complaining! It's nice that it's cool weather and exercise is built in. You do notice the difference in fitness here with people of all ages and I'm convinced it has to do with the multitude of bikers and walkers. Now, time for that croissant. ;-)

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