Belgium

Life Thru the Lens 11/52... WWI in Belgium, the final push, Ypres (Leper) Belgium Part IV

We are back to Belgium for our final push of our World War I weekend tour. We ended our tour at Ypres (or Leper) Belgium. The main reasons we wanted to visit Ypres was to visit: the Tyne Cot British cemetery that lies just outside of the village, the Sanctuary Wood Trenches, the Canadian Memorial, The Changing of the Guard at Menin Gate,  the Ypres fortress and ramparts, and the Flanders Fields Museum. We managed to pack that all into a day and a half, but by far the best part was the Changing of the Guard at Menin Gate. 

The Good...

While I did take photos at the beginning of the ceremony, I videoed the ceremony itself. I think it is important to video when you tour, just as much as it is important to capture the moment in photographs. 

Unlike photographs, when you video you are able to capture not just the culture of a place but the tiny nuances such as sounds, dialects, and the general feeling of a place, or event. Photos would have never captured the all consuming feelings of deep honor, and tradition, that the ceremony evoked. 

The Random....

The red poppy was the first flower to spring new life in, and around, the battle fields and cemeteries of Flounders. It is as much symbol of hope and new beginnings, as it is a symbol of the lives lost. At the American cemetery in Normandy, we were told that the first flower to bloom on a gravesite is the poppy. I do not know if that is truth or myth, but I do like the thought of the delicate petals flowing in the breeze that blankets the land during spring; the poppy is a reminder that good can spring forth from tragedy. 

The Fun...

The Tyne Cot British Cemetery, and the Canadian Memorial, were some of the most stunning and well maintained cemeteries we visited. Each gravesite was beautifully planted with colorful gardens and every single headstone was perfectly straight. We were quite overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. 

If you would like to see where all we have been in Belgium WWI tour, check out these posts... Part IPart IIPart III

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... The Good, The Random, The Fun, Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday Wednesday Around the World, Little Things Thursday, and Friday Photo Journal.

What does your Life Thru the Lens look like?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life Thru the Lens 8/52... WWI in Ghent, Belgium, Part III

Ghent, Belgium a photo tour... because sometimes words are not needed. 

The Good...

The Random.....

On our last few trips in Europe, I wanted to try to capture absolutely everything. I knew we were moving back to the US soon and I wanted to be able to capture the essence of Europe. I did miss out on some thing, I do have regrets.  The one thing I did capture, that you will want to as well is....

~ The odd and quirky things.. like the sign below which marked several spots in Ghent for hot opportunities. 

~ The architecture... not just on buildings but also on light-posts, bridges, and doors.

~ Cultural characteristics... like fun clothing stores. 

~ People... in their every day moments. 

The Fun...

I have a slight obsession with doors. I did not know I had this obsession until we moved to Europe, but doors in Europe are so beautiful. And, they are everywhere.

Did you see that I am giving away a set of birthday cards at the end of this month. Hope on over to this post to enter for your chance to win. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday Random-osity and Friday Photo Journal.

What does your Life Thru the Lens look like?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life Thru the Lens 7/52... WWI in Ghent, Belgium... Part II

Our next stop on our whirlwind tour of the WWI countryside in Belgium was Ghent. I'll be honest, we have a slight obsession with Amazing Race. We have watched every season as a family for a long, long while now... and the season before we stopped by Ghent, guess where Amazing Race stopped? Some of you might recognize it. 

The Good...

By far Ghent was one of the most architecturally interesting cities we visited in Europe. The stunning fact about Gent is that it escaped sever destruction of the city in both World Wars. That is pretty amazing considering cities of smaller stature were destroyed as artillery bystanders. 

Since our obsession with Amazing Race tends to overshadow our life, I thought it entirely proper to begin our Ghent tour with The Gravensteen. While not one of the most extravagant castles (Germany has the bar set pretty high in that category) it was fun to tour a partially moated castle. There are not many moated castles left on the mainland of Europe. 

The Fun...

Because we had extensively toured castles in Germany, the inside of this castle was not that spectacular. However, what I did really enjoy was the views. Most German castles are either positioned in the countryside away form the village center, or high above the village. So, when you look out a window the countryside views are stunning, but I loved Gravensteen because of its village views. 

The Random...

I wasn't a fan of climbing to the top of the castles. I have an extreme fear of heights and just climbing up the stairs my heart would begin the pounding, thumping, teeth rattling drum of trepidation. But I always climbed, as I had this little pep talk in my head, "It's been here for hundreds of years. Surely it won't fall down today!" Because, the view was always worth the fear. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday Random-osity and Friday Photo Journal.

WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE THRU THE LENS LOOK LIKE?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life thru the Lens 6/52... WWI in Kemmel, Belgium (Part I)

I decided to share a throw back today because I have not had a ton of camera time these last few weeks. And, because I have not shared most of our last few years of travel in Europe. To be honest, most of the pictures of our trips still lay in their folders unedited. It wasn't until this last year that I was able to look through them without being tumbled back into the deep abyss of grief over having to leave Europe. I loved, no, I love Europe immensely. 

We took several trips during our last year in Germany, but one of my favorites was our Belgium circle. During our time in Europe we toured WWII sites extensively, but lacked in visiting WWI sites. So, in an effort to fix that problem, we took a long weekend and toured through some of the Belgium WWI countryside. Our trip took us through Gent, Kemmel, Yprese, and then Brugge. 

It's important to place your feet on a historical moment, to intertwine your soul in the tangible pieces of what was. In doing so, the vales of a time past are released and one is able to feel the emotion of what was. 

We began our trip in the trenches...

I find it necessary to find beauty where death prevailed. It's in the beauty that we overcome the sadness of war, and honor the lives of those lost. Because, when all is said and done and the horror of war is swept away all the bodies buried were someones loved one.

Come back next week for Part II of our Belgium weekend getaway. Until then..... 

I have been steadily working on culling and editing photos to begin my Etsy shop, once again. I have decided to focus on fine art card(s) and fine art print(s) all in the square. I really love Instagram's square format, so I decided to be inspired and head that way for my store. It will be up and running by the end of this month. 

 Did you see that I am giving away a set of birthday cards at the end of this month. Hope on over to this post to enter for your chance to win. 

P.S. I seem to be losing comments. I'll see them show up in my email, but when I head to my blog they are gone... so if I do not reply, please know this is why. Or, if your comment is missing please know I did not delete it. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday

WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE THRU THE LENS LOOK LIKE?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time.