05 July 2013

Belgium trip report (slightly delayed)

Ok, THAT didn't work out quite like I planned.  The plan was to make a whirlwind trip to Brussels, audit two companies, spend some extra time sampling the local gastronomical cuisine, exploring the rich architecture and culture of the Belgium and Netherlands, return home, take a day to regroup, and tackle the mountain of work in a short 2 day work week. Was working on posting a nice synopsis of the trip with pictures.  I was on track for most of my plans but, as they say in the movies:  "Best Laid Plans of Mice."  Started Tuesday feeling achy   In my shoulders, in my back, in my knees.  Usually that is a sign I have been pushing the envelope a wee bit too much.  Staying up too late.  I chalked it up to the 14 hour flight from Brussels to DC to Houston and hauling my baggage with all my booty.  Was hoping to catch up on my e-mails, reports, file my expense report, take care of several items before we shut down for the holiday.  By mid morning, I was feeling a bit worse, slightly chilled.  By noon, I was downright freezing in my nicely air conditioned office in the middle of a typical Texas summer day.  At 2, finally grokked something wasn't right and I was running a fever.  First time in a long time I bailed on my meeting and went home early.  Probably a good thing too - was slightly ditzy on the drive home.  Got home early and immediately hit sack and slept for almost 24 hours (sorry dogs, no walk).  Somewhere along the line, I finally broke out the thermometer and registered something around 102.5.  Started popping Advil to see if that could break the fever and managed to keep it to a cool 101.4 for two days until it finally broke Wednesday night.  Was lucid enough to e-mail work early Wednesday to say I was going to be a no-show and went back to my sweat lodge.  Spent a good solid 2.5 days sweating out the fever and having some really wicked dreams along the way.  Spent most of yesterday laying around the house just trying to get some strength back.  Hadn't eaten anything since Tuesday noon so I was pretty much running on empty.  Today has been pretty low key as well.  Feeling more human today - well enough to walk the dogs, water the yard, pick up the cleaning, but still not feeling 100%.  Hope to recover enough to mow my yard tomorrow.  Not exactly how I had planned to spend my extended weekend.  Anyway, here is what I had planned to post earlier this week.  It may take a few postings to cover it all:   

Long week.  We flew over last Saturday, arrived early Sunday morning.  Took a couple of hours to explore Brussels before we caught our train to the Netherlands.  Spent a few days in 's-Hertgenbosch (pronounced:  Cher-toe-gan-bosch) or "'den Bosch" as the locals call it.  Beautiful city located east of Amsterdam.  Lots of older buildings, canals. many restaurants   

Spent 4 days in den Bosch auditing a new company before heading back down to Brussels for the second half of my tour.  2nd audit was in Gent, just northwest of Brussels.  We planned our flight back on Sunday which gave us Saturday free to explore Brussels at large.  

I won't bore anyone with the audit details, but will give you a few highlights of our tour.  The few short hours we spend on Sunday wandering the streets on Brussels early Sunday morning were interesting.  I've always been fascinated by the architecture of Europe and the different buildings, monuments, displays one can see simply by taking a walk.  

From interesting artwork/diplays
Building clock - at each hour, the particular figurine for that hour will emerge from its alcove and ring in the hour.  
Art Museum/Autoworld
To museums
Autoworld Museum

To grand cathedrals
Grande Plaza
Grande Plaza
To lots of restaurants

To some unique buildings

Lots to see & do in Brussels, if you are willing to explore.  

More about chocolate and beer later...


ShadowRun300 said...

Yeah - you picked a bad time to get sick! Though I suppose there's never a good time. So glad you're feeling better! The dogs are too, I'm sure!
Your pictures remind me so much of my days in Germany. Similar architecture, similar restaurant styles, lots of beer (that I watched my parents drink of course.) It was nice that you had a whole day to explore.
I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear about that chocolate.....

Abby said...

Well, at least you weren't sick in transit, and waited to get home sweet home to the "sweat lodge". Sounds like a rough few days, glad to see you!
These photos are great. Everything looks so oldish but clean. Look at those rental bikes all aligned! Love the brick streets too.

terri said...

Sorry to hear you were feeling so miserable! Sounds like a nasty virus!

Brussels looks like a fascinating place. Great pictures! I especially love the big clock.

meleah rebeccah said...

Oy vey, Agg! Being sick like that is downright awful. I am glad you left work and slept for 24 hours - you must have really needed it. Also, high fevers are famous for causing crazy dreams. Hope your on the mend by now.

These pictures are wonderful - I especially like the building clock and the amphicar.