Monday, February 05, 2007

Pictures from China

(Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.)

Hi, everyone!

The big news from here is that I've finally finished the website from my trip to China last summer, so you can see all my pictures here:

If you find any problems with the page, please let me know so I can fix them. I've tried to fix them all, but I'm sure I missed a few.

It was wonderful to see many of you in November/December! I had a lovely three-week trip to California and New York City, and I tried to catch as many of you who lived nearby as possible. Laura and Kathy and I made bagels from scratch (they were good!), I ate as much Mexican food and sushi as possible, and I stocked up on a few hard-to-find-in-Belgium items.

Since then, I've been wandering around Europe a little bit. Hamburg was a very nice city with several cute Christmas markets. My family and I enjoyed the Gluhwein and roasted chestnuts, plus the SWAT teams of Santas climbing all the buildings (the picture is actually from Brussels, but these were all over Hamburg, too). Much of Hamburg was bombed during the World Wars, including one church whose huge bells were knocked down during WWII. They were left where they fell as a monument to peace that I found especially moving.

The Christmas dinner I cooked for 8 people turned out ok, and both families got along. I also had my first very own Christmas tree, which was a lot of fun. For New Year's Damien and I went to the Algarve, the southern coast of Portugal, and we loved it. It was very relaxed, beautiful and warm. We had some time at the beach, saw quaint and beautiful little towns, many birds, and salt marshes, played with Portuguese water dogs, and drank wonderful porto. A return to Portugal is definitely in our future.

Last weekend I had my first ski trip ever - and I actually fell much less than I thought I would. So it turns out skiing is kind of fun - that was a nice surprise. Though my knees are killing me (even still a little), so any of you ski experts out there, if you can tell me how to avoid that next time, I'd appreciate it. We went to Chamrousse, a ski resort near Grenoble, in the French Alps, and the scenery was gorgeous. And we lucked out and found a hotel that made vegetarian dinners for me, so I got to try the Alpine specialties (lots of strong cheese!), and they almost didn't show too obviously that they thought I was an alien from some far away planet with no animals on it.

So we are taking good advantage of our central location here in Europe. We have plans for trips to London, Paris, Athens, Cinqueterre, and Ljubljana over the next few months, and I'll try to have some pictures for you from some of those places. In any case, I'm getting a great geography lesson (though I'm aided tremendously by hours of playing Where in Europe is Carmen San Diego - the first exposure to Ljubljana for a lot of people, I'm guessing!).

And I'll be back home in June - I've officially bought the plane tickets - June 4-12 in New York and June 12-22 in California. And the offer stands as always for anyone interested in visiting, you are welcome any time in Brussels - free place to stay and free tour guide. The weather's a bit grey right now, but it's going to be lovely here in the spring.

Keep in touch!


PokerinOregon said...

Kim, Great seeing you in NYC - the pictures of China are amazing! Thought I would leave you a comment to your blog so 1) you know that people are reading it and 2)it's like checking the mail and having an unexpected letter from a friend! Enjoy your time, I'd love to come visit, but I guess you'll be back in NYC before I make it to Belgium. - Kerry

Crete said...

Well written article.

Adventure map for 2009...