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Whoa! Those pics are nice!
Good day to everyone!
Nasabi ko sa nauna ko'ng post na we usually spend our weekends out of the Belgian territory........and may I add ...." to gain some sort of inspiration to an otherwise boring surroundings of Tintin's country! (sorry, dapat pala pasalamat ako dahil that is where the hubby is getting our "bread" at the moment )
Last Saturday, it was not only "inspiration" that we were after but also, we had to do some errands that need to be done in French territory - like getting our mails forwarded to our new Belgian address (we're soon moving out of this very-expensive-Business-(kuno)-flat-which-obviously-caters-only-to-a-bachelor-who-doesn't-cook-but-only-boil-coffee kind of existence) and to get our French-doctor-prescribed medicine from a French Pharmacy (in which case, it's free!), or to make bank transactions with our French bank. The closest big French town is Lille which is only 1.15 hours drive away.
We have been to Lille loads of times that I sometimes hesitate to go and see the same sights over and over again....; but as soon as we are in the town square, there is always the "wow!- it's- great- to- be- back!" sort of reaction! Lille is a big relief to the senses, after Belgium! I said earlier that it is a very CHIC town and i can say it over and over again! Well, it's not only that - it's everything French!
That is the trouble when you have experienced living in France for so long! You tend to develop a very discerning taste for everything nice and good and beautiful! France has everything - from fashion to food to beautiful architecture to amazing landscape to charming villages, the list is endless!
And where we live - it is even more special because of the climate and the sea (not just the sea but the turquoise-blue mediterranean sea!) and the charming medieval villages! you can also add the "politesse" and the warmth of the people - they have the Latin-mentality like the Spanish and the Italians!
Here are photos of some parts of the Vallée des Merveilles in the south of France (near the Italian border).
The hilltop village of Tende
Sospel is another hilltop village
A door of a mountain house in Berghe.
Berghe is so high up and so steep that I usually close my eyes while the car is climbing up! The zigzaggy narrow road to the top has been built and paved by German prisoners after the first world war!
- is the biggest town in the north of France, the same size as Manila
There were lots of people that Saturday, must be doing their early Christmas shopping
An Indian Festival is going on, it started last September and lasts till January 2007. The nearby Theatre de Lille is showing Indian films for the entire festival season.
The main square
hello heymikey and ewanko2....
me too..... it was the only comics series where i dared to build a huge collection! Noong first time ko sa Brussels, pinuntahan ko rin yang museum na yan, pero sinilip ko lang ang statue ni Tintin at snowy. Di na ko pumasok
hello WandawittsOriginally Posted by WandaWits
siguro mas makakapagbigay sa 'yo ng tips si heymikey at si lonely_pinoy diyan! mas marami sila'ng napuntahan sa Germany kaysa sa akin
cc: heymikey, lonely_pinoy
My very first brush of Germany was years ago during a stopover at Frankfurt airport on my way to Nice. I have been to a number of airports so I can easily rank Frankfurt as the worst airport in the 21st century. Why? because the terminal is like a nicotine chimney, one has to practically stagger for an oxygen mask just to get to your gate!
That's what gets me about Europe! it's a smoker's haven! if in the Philippines I am constantly covering my nose with a handkerchief to avoid inhaling car fumes, in Europe, it's against cigarette smoke! (although in Italy, smoking in public places has been banned since last year).
"The Fatherland" is what the British playfully refer to Germany, i guess, with a comical spite! In reality, Europeans haven't, and will never forget what the Nazi Germans did in the second world war. Old Europeans in their 70s and up are still wary that their German neighbour might be contemplating another invasion! Apparently, there is an invasion going on at the moment, but not with the use of weapons of war but ... with money! The Germans seem to be on a buying spree of properties not only in Europe but around the world! (You have seen German proprietors of resorts in Thailand and in the Philippines..)
But going back to the memories of the second world war, whilst your typical German backpacker friend would be well ashamed of what his forefathers had done, this sad past will continue to spread around Europe. They show it as TV documentaries all year round, most especially in the month of August when most Europeans are celebrating their liberation and Hitler's army was defeated by the Allies.
when you get into German territory, you will think that you suddenly found yourself in the Land of the Giants! yes, the Germans are BIG! While they have the same height as the Dutch (their border neighbour), the Dutch are usually slimmer, (probably because they eat unpalatable food or maybe they are naturally stingy that they scrimp on food) but the Germans are easily recognized by their BIGNESS!
They are BIG because they eat far too much sausages and drink far too much beer! And it is not only their body size that is big! We went for a drink in a roadside cafe and found that even their table for two is sooo big! (hey, I come from France and their tables there are miniatures!). Their chairs are also big - i look like Alice sitting in one of those chairs in Wonderland village! and even their beer glasses come in liter sizes!
we once stayed in a flat in Munich - last year when hubby was on a few-months stint with a German company - and boy! i can hardly see my face on the bathroom mirror....I had to tiptoe just to put on lipstick! Everytime I cooked I had to step on a stool just to see if my casserole is boiling; And when I washed the the plates on the sink, I used to suffer from arm ache for raising them too high to reach the tap!
Few years ago, during one of hubby's earlier stints in Belgium, we went to Aachen simply because it is the nearest biggest German town past the Belgian border. We didn't investigate enough what would we be expecting to find there. If we did, we would have known and would have eventually searched for the shrine of Charlemagne inside the Aachen Cathedral. (But at least, we saw the famous and beautiful stained-glass window!).
Aachen is quite a charming town, dotted with gothic architecture. The restaurants are pretty inviting, but we were fighting the temptation to get in, lest we will get disappointed again! You see, our very first try of German cuisine was in a small town just outside Luxembourg. The menu was all in German, and the waiter couldn't speak English so we just did the crazy thing of randomly selecting a strangely-written name of a German dish. Lo and behold! - a boiled shredded cabbage with a seemingly half-cooked fat and meat was served. The presentation was quite unpalatable that i could not even force my throat to swallow a bit of it, hence, for the first time in my European life, i left a plate of untouched meal! (you see, i always think of hungry third-world countries so i make it a point not to leave food on my plate!).
Luckily, we found a Chinese restaurant - our saviour from hunger that day!
That particular day, in Aachen, we had a bit of a scary taste how it was to live during the Nazi era!
We didn't know that it was a very important day! At first, we noticed a lot of people arriving, with yellow scarves around their necks. Then the square started filling up. Kiosks selling sausages and beers were instantly set up!
Then the program started. It was all in German, and they started chanting in perfect synchrony. All of a sudden, they were all raising their right hands, as if sparring repeatedly....wait, i've seen this before, this was how Hitler was received in every places he went. Supporters raising their right arms, at a 45degree angle...accompanied by simultaneous chanting! the chants reminded me of Ku Klux Klan movies when white masks-covered men in white robes chanted while burning a white cross!
(....image from wikipedia)
The football fans in Aachen were raising their right arms like this!
We then realized, it's their way of welcoming their football team! A football game was scheduled that night!
Whew! that was really scary!
Football fans waiting for their idols while police patrol the area.
the football heroes finally arrived in a motorcade. Notice the beer bottles on their hands!..... !
Last edited by mariadams; Nov 6, 2006 at 11:31 PM.
Time Travel muna tayo!
The Italian village of Castelvittorio as seen from Pigna
A village bakery, Fontan, France
The arched alleys of Zucarello, Italy
the first oktoberfest was held more than 200 years ago when then Prince Ludwig celebrated his marriage with Princess Therese - hence the name of the place where the festival is held - Theresewien. Although it is called Oktoberfest, it starts by mid-September (to catch the last remaining good weather) and lasts till the few days of October.
A flowerseller inside one of the tents, wearing a Bavarian costume
We were lucky to have been at the right place at the right time! We had no idea that such an event was about to take place. That day, while sightseeing in the city, we noticed a few people walking by in their Bavarian costumes. Then they started coming in droves, going to the same direction. We were so thrilled seeing Germans in their national costumes so we followed them. We came into a big place - a big field - with giant tents and carnivals and shops selling Bavarian hats (that light up everytime you move)... Bavarian souvenirs ...and other shops selling chocolate-dipped fruits and giant biscuits. It's fantastic! it's like we suddenly found ourselves in fantasyland!
A pretzel-seller taking a break.
Most people (as was our case on the next day) got their entrance tickets from their companies who have pre-purchased them and given them free to their employees or business clients. But getting into one of those tents is not easy, especially in the afternoon, when long queues build up. It's not only the locals who patronize Oktoberfest, the tourists as well, as this is considered the annual 'biggest party in the world'! it's a pilgrimage where every beer-drinking Tom and Harry should go before they leave this earth!
For families with children, the best time to go is in the morning when the festival grounds open at 10am.
a liter-serving of beer! sky is the limit as long as you keep paying for it!
the orchestra perched up in the center provides the music which will get the people dancing from their seats
marieadams : is it true that the McDo in France serves wine? Can u take a pic of their menu board?
I enjoy reading your posts and looking at the pics. Can you tell me more about the food? Hehe halata bang lakas kong kumain? I'm a rice-lover, do u think I'll survive in Europe?
Tsaka, tell us more about the people and the atmosphere, from a Filipino perspective. Smiling ba mga europeans? Or are they like the Chinese in Hongkong, sa sobrang nagmamadali eh they don't mind bumping you while walking.
hello orangepink......thanks very much sa message mo!
naku, wala pa naman ako'ng nakitang ganyan sa menu nila. kung meron man, hindi ko alam! Pero kung type mo ang wine with your burger and chips, all restaurants - budget, take away - serve them. Kung under budget ka, order mo yung house wine nila or "vin de la maison" in half or quarter bottle.is it true that the McDo in France serves wine? Can u take a pic of their menu board?.
Puede ka ring bumili sa supermarket (France), pinaka-mura from 1.20 something Euro upwards. Outside France, mas mahal na.
pic of their menu... hayaan mo, will try
Oo naman! there are lots of restaurants serving rice. Asian like Thai/Vietnamese serve the milagrosa type. Chinese serve them fried or boiled. Indian serve basmati. Italian serve risotto. Otherwise, there's a big selection in supermarkets - Uncle Ben's, short rice, long rice...Can you tell me more about the food? Hehe halata bang lakas kong kumain? I'm a rice-lover, do u think I'll survive in Europe? .
I cook rice at least once a week. Di ako makatagal ng wala'ng rice, at kailangan i eat it with pinakbet. May talong naman dito (they call aubergine), sitaw (haricot vert), kalabasa (potiron), kamatis, tapos i use salted anchovies as bagoong... voila! pinakbet!
marami'ng Asian stores na nagtitinda ng patis, toyo, lumpia wrapper, mama Sita's corn and mushroom soup at YES! magazine (para sa showbiz chismis pero di ko na rin kilala yung mga bata'ng artista ngayon)
marami'ng masasarap na pagkain dito! may budget meals, may expensive meals. Depende rin sa country. Food in Italy, Spain, France and bits of Switzerland are the best! Go to small family-run restaurants serving traditional food - best value for your money. Nagkalat din dito ang mga Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese restaurants pero mahal na rin kumain sa mga ganoon - from 35 - 55 euros with wine if you are a couple. Kung sa budget naman, 3-course meal with wine for only 12euros per head! naka-display naman ang mga prices sa labas ng restaurant kaya puede kang mag-canvass.
..tell us more about the people and the atmosphere, from a Filipino perspective. Smiling ba mga europeans? Or are they like the Chinese in Hongkong, sa sobrang nagmamadali eh they don't mind bumping you while walking.
yan ang purpose ng thread na ito, to tell each country's people and atmosphere from a Pinay's perspective. Yung mga latin countries like Spain, Italy and France are warmer people, they have what you call "joie de vivre!" Pero yung mga iba, very cold and boring, sometimes parang robot! At least, yung mga British, may sense of humour!
smiling? - depende sa situasyon! kasi kung mag-smile ka sa isang Frenchman, aakalain nila nagfi-flirt ka!
ang malakas makahawa ay yung paggi-greet mo ng "bonjour" sa France. lahat ng kapitbahay mo, or tindero/a ng kung anu-ano, kapag bibili ka, it's just proper to say 'bonjour!'.
At dahil nakasanayan ko na nga dito, kapag umuuwi ako sa Pinas at babatiin ko ng "magandang araw" mga tao'ng kasalubong ko, tititigan lang ako, na para"ng sira! Pero ang konsolasyon ko na lang, at napansin ko, kung sino pa ang mga ordinaryo'ng tao lalo na mga matatanda, sila lang yung naga-acknowledge ng bati ko! (pansin ko lang naman!)
The French - they would invite you to join them in their 2-hour lunch where there will be some relaxed chatting over wine and food
The Dutch/Belgians - tend to eat on their own, very distant, not approachable
les Italians - you can warm with them right at the first few minutes of your meeting. they are the warmest people in Europe. They talk their language as if they are singing and they make a lot of hand gestures just to explain what they are saying. Beware - they are not inhibited in telling a husband how beautiful his wife is........they surely know how to make a woman feeling high about herself!
Kailan kaya kukuha ng pityur si mariadams na nakabalandra mukha niya sa camera?
Mariadams, Ang wika ho ba nung mga Dutch ay halos parehas sa wika ng mga Aleman? At ang pagkakaalam ko ay ang kultura ng mga Belgian ay parang French din. Tama ho ba?
Makikisingit na kasi nag-aral ako ng Dutch at Deutsch. Pareho silang West Germanic language, sd amboy, pero ang Dutch sa Low Franconian derived hindi katulad ng German na ginagamit ngayon ay sa High German naman. Ang ibig sabihin 'yung morphology ng Dutch ay iba sa Standard German. May mga nagsasabi na dialect siya ng German at closely-related din sa English, pero hindi totoo 'yun kasi iba rin ang morphology ng Dutch sa English at German vice-versa. Pero hindi ‘yun nagtatapos dun kasi may mga language features ang German na katulad naman ng sa Dutch tulad ng inflection; halimbawa, 'yung "-en" o "-es" na ginagamit sa parehong languages (kaya nga kung pamilyar ka sa German ‘yung mga verbs (base) ay may “-en”; halimbawa, “essen” (o “eat” sa English). Nagkakaatulad din sila sa "noun compounds" o 'yung pahabaan ng salita (German: neunhundertachtundneunzig; Dutch: negenhonderdnegentigachtste; Sa English: nine-hundred-ninety-nineth).
Ang Dutch nga pala ay ginagamit din sa ilang parte ng Belgium.
Sorry po at napangunahan ko si mariadams sa pagsagot. Hehehe!
Kahit na may pagkaka-halintulad ang Ingles at Aleman sa istruktura minsan at ganun na rin sa semantics at morphology, hindi natin masasabi na mas madadalian ka na ring mag-aral ng Aleman. Hindi sila katulad ng Spanish o Italian at French na kung marunong ka ng iba pang Latin languages ay madali mo na silang matututunan.
Sa palagay ko at ayon sa aking karanasan ay depende talaga sa talino sa linggwistika ng isang tao ang pag-aaral ng isang wika.
(Naku baka mapagalitan tayo ni madam mariadams at wala na tayo sa tema. )
naku! umalis lang ako sandali ay andami na pala'ng postings dito
teka, basahin ko muna ...