Thursday, August 25, 2011


The Ocean Princess docked in Torshavn on the first sunny day we had seen since we arrived in Paris over a week ago. This is ironic because the climate is similar to that in Bergen--it rains 260 days a year. Because of the Gulf Stream, The Faroes have relatively mild winters and cool summers. Torshavn, which means "Thor's Harbor" is the capital of this self governing region of Denmark. The islands are literally in the middle of nowhere--North of Scotland, West of Norway, and Southeast of Iceland in the North Atlantic. They consist of 18 islands, some uninhabited, and only 50,000 people live in the whole country. The people are called Faroese, and they have their own language of the same name, derived from the Old Norse language of the Vikings.

Torshavn is a town of 13,000 with a harbor which can accommodate large ships. It is a pretty town on the side of a hill. The people live in colorfully painted houses with steeply sloped roofs. Many houses have grass roofs.

We drove an hour out of town to Vestmanna ("West Men") on the island of Streymoy. This area is known for its spectacular sheer cliffs, 2000 feet high, rising out of the water, which provide a home to millions of seabirds. Our small double-decked boat seated about 30 people. It was small enough to sail close to the rocky cliffs and through narrow channels and natural arches carved from the rocks by the ocean. Braving the cold winds, we sat outside on the top deck, and we were required to wear yellow hard hats to protect against the occasional falling rock. Kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots and even puffins nested in the rock faces. Most looked like seagulls to the untrained eye. We could see the faces of the young birds peeking out of their nests.

Sheep roamed freely on the steep slopes, grazing on the grass. The farmers constructed fences to prevent wayward sheep from falling into the surf. Someone suggested that the sheep had Velcro on their hoofs, so they wouldn't roll off the steep grade. There were no trees, and it was explained to us that the sheep would eat the seedlings. Farming is minimal because of the short growing season. They do grow root vegetables like potatoes and carrots.

The other major industry is salmon farming. Salmon pens, large circles in the water, were scattered around the islands. About 90% of the Faroes' exports are fish, and 20%of these are farm raised.

In Torshavn, an elderly man confronted us on the street, handing (but not selling) us a photo of a cross that appeared in the sky on Ascension Day. He owned a small shop selling religious artifacts a few doors down, and we stopped in. In New York or Chicago, we would ignore the guy, but Dianne is much nicer to these people than I would be. We purchased a few postcards in his shop.

NEXT; Iceland and Crossing the Arctic Circle


Sunday, August 21, 2011


We eagerly anticipated our visit to the Atlantic port of Bergen, Norway, a city of about 250,000. This scenic city is the gateway to the fjords of Norway and is located several hundred miles from the Norwegian capital, Oslo. Our Norwegian friends, Rune and Trudy Nielsen flew from Oslo to meet us there. We had met them 6 months ago on the same ship in China with Mike and Dorothy from New York. We had some concerns about their ability to travel across the country because a day earlier, a crazed killer blew up a government building and then went on a shooting spree.

Nevertheless, they met us and our New York friends at the pier. They came armed with tourist handbooks and maps. After a short walk from the pier, we visited the palace and fortress of King Haakon VII which was built in the 13th Century. The complex, called Bergenhus, was built of stone which resisted the fires that periodically ravaged the city over the centuries.

Norway had been part of Sweden until 1905 when a referendum granted Norway independence, and Haakon VII became the first king. How he became king is an interesting story which I'll explain in a moment. We posed at his statue. The Norwegian word for king is kong, so we weren't sure whether to refer to him as King or Kong, or both--King Kong anyone?

Haakon VII (1872-1957) was originally Prince Carl of Denmark. He married Princess Maud, daughter of England's King Edward VII. When Norway declared its independence, Haakon was elected king by the Norwegian people. The election was obviously political, as there were several candidates from European royalty. He was deemed the best for several reasons: (1) He was descended from a line of independent Norwegian kings hundreds of years ago; (2) He had a son--an heir to the throne; (3) His English wife, Maud, who was also his first cousin, would attract British support, advantageous to a new nation.

King Haakon was very popular, especially during World War II when Norway was invaded by the German Nazis. He refused to cooperate (collaborate?) with them and had to be evacuated to England where he led the Norwegian government in exile and was credited with keeping up the morale of the Norwegian people with his frequent broadcasts by short wave radio.

The city of Bergen (Bryggen) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the buildings were constructed in the 1100's when it was a world class port. It is a picturesque city surrounded by mountains and fjords. It rains a lot, and this day was no exception. In fact, in 2006, the city endured rain on 85 consecutive days. Planning picnics and golf outings here is an iffy proposition.

The city was a significant port of the Hanseatic League which monopolized trade throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. Don't confuse it with the American League or the National League, but it was certainly formidable in its era. It was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds created with the intention of dominating trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It originated in Lubeck, Germany in the 1100's and arranged commercial concessions and trade with the rulers of various cities and countries the merchants visited. The Hanseatic League had its own legal system and provided security and material aid for its members. Hansa is the German word for "guilds".

Bergen became one of the largest cities in Europe at that time because of European demand for the dried codfish provided by the Northern fishermen. It is still an important port, and we visited the famous Torget, the Fish Market, with kiosks peddling various kinds of fish and other types of seafood, including whale, shark meat, eels, as well as lobster and crab. The market also has kiosks selling moose and reindeer meat, furs and vegetables and flowers. Many of the vendors appeared to be of Middle Eastern or African origin.

Bergen is built on the edge of seven mountains, and we rode a funicular railway to the top of Floyen Mountain where we were treated to a beautiful view of the city and the harbor. The Floibanen Funicular takes you up about 1000 feet in 7 minutes in a glass car seating about 100 people. At the top is a restaurant where you have to order cafeteria style. To an American, the prices are very high. Dianne and I split a ham and cheese sandwich and a coke which cost 95 kroner (about $19).

Later, at the harbor we stopped in a local pub for some locally brewed Hansa Beer. The cost for 3 beers and a bag of peanuts was about $40. They didn't jack up the price for tourists--our Norwegian friends were with us. I don't know how people can afford to live here, but maybe they save money when the shop at Torget. We said our goodbyes to the Nielsens and headed to the ship for our next port, Torshavn in the Faroe Islands.

NEXT: Faroe Islands: Visiting the Sheer Cliffs of Vestmanna, Drop Over Anytime.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The first day out of Dover, we sailed across the North Sea to Antwerp, Belgium, a distance of about 100 miles. We had no illusions about Belgium. In fact when we booked the trip, we didn't know we were going there. But it turned out to be a pleasant and informative experience.

We arrived on Belgian Independence Day, July 21st, and much of this major seaport city was closed. Belgium declared its independence in 1830 when it split off from the Netherlands under King Leopold I and, like England, became a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy.

Since then, and even before, this small lowland country has been known mainly for being the battleground of Europe. It was invaded by Germany in both World Wars, but it was also the theater of several wars in the 1600's and 1700's between France, Spain and Austria.

The whole country is about the size of the State of Maryland. We toured the Flanders region where the people speak Dutch and Flemish. The other large region is French speaking Wallonia in the South. The Brussels Capital region is bi-lingual. The government has to reflect these major divisions which can be cumbersome.


We drove an hour or so to Bruges (rhymes with rouge), a famous medieval city known for its beautiful canals and churches. Our tour would be ending in New York, so we were depressed to see the highway exit for Hoboken. Oh no! we're back on the Garden State Parkway. Maybe we can at least tour Frank Sinatra's birthplace.
We continued on however, and as we drove through the suburbs of Bruges, we saw American style houses with one-car garages and neatly manicured front lawns.

On arriving in Bruges, a city of 117,000, our first stop for the tour was the public bathroom by the market which was closed for the holiday. The bathroom was closed too, but soon enough a middle aged lady arrived with a key. We all went inside, but on emerging, she wouldn't let us exit without paying the equivalent of about 50 cents. Many of the people on our tour had credit cards but no Euros, but this lady held her ground, with her male "enforcer" brandishing a big stick. I wasn't about to give her a 50 Euro note, but I found a $1 American bill which I gave her to ransom Dianne and me. She reluctantly accepted. I don't know what Belgian jails are like, but I didn't want to find out.

Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage City with unique medieval architecture. In the 1400's, it was a major commercial center and one of the largest cities in Europe. It was a city that produced things, and many of the structures are still intact. We walked past the carpenter's guild, the mason's guild and the shoemaker's guild. As artisans and professionals do today, the people of that era organized associations to lobby and promote their interests.

We took a boat ride through the maze of canals which have made many describe Bruges as the "Venice of the North." Ducks and swans shared the canal with us. We saw a big hound dog lying on a second floor window with his head hanging down as he lazily observed us.

The skyline is dominated by spectacular medieval spires and churches like the Church of Our Lady with its 400 foot spire. The 13th Century 300 foot Belfry is famous for its 48-bell carillon. At the dead end of the canal stands a statue of Jan Van Eyck, the Flemish painter.

Bruges today has an economy based on tourism. The tourists purchase a lot of locally produced beer and chocolate. Belgium has over 120 breweries producing 400 types of beer. Popular brands include Brugse Zot, Vieux Bruges and Kwak. Bruges is considered the best city in the world for beer lovers by, beating out other top ten world cities like Munich, Dublin, Prague, Amsterdam and Portland, OR.(!) Milwaukee was not on the list. Belgians also like their chocolate. Belgium is No. 2 in the world in per capita consumption of chocolate.


After lunch, we drove another hour through the Belgian countryside. The small farms grow corn, wheat and grapes. We were told that people don't eat the corn, the cattle do. We entered the city of Ghent, the second largest city in Belgium with a population of 250,000. To Americans, Ghent is famous for the Treaty of Ghent which ended the War of 1812. It was signed in December, 1814, a month or so before the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. They didn't have CNN in those days, and the news of the Treaty had not reached America yet. So, in the words of the Johnny Horton song, the British kept a runnin', down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We arrived in time for the big Independence Day celebrations, with the black, yellow and red striped Belgian flags flying from every building. Just like in the U.S., bands were playing, and thousands of revelers milled about, patronizing the food and beer stands. The main square in front of St. Bavo's Cathedral was the site of the festivities. The Marriott Hotel is in a faux medieval building. Most of the stores were open, peddling Belgian lace, chocolate and souvenirs. One store had a hawker dressed as a medieval knight to bring people into the shop. He was kind enough to pose with me for a photo.

Walking back to our bus, we passed a prominent statue of a man named Lievin Bauwens whose claim to fame was that he stole the spinning jenny from England and started the Belgian lace and textile industry. The story is that the spinning jenny was invented in 1764 by the Englishman James Hargreaves who named it after his daughter Jenny who accidentally knocked over the family spinning wheel. He noticed that it kept spinning. Opportunity knocked here, and Hargreaves got the idea to run a whole series of spindles off one wheel. The Industrial Revolution was in its glory in England at that time.

Keeping a good idea secret is difficult in any era. The young Bauwens was an industrial spy, sent to England to live and observe the Industrial Revolution. He smuggled the device into Belgium where he set up a textile operation in Ghent. He did his job so well that the good people of Ghent elected him mayor.

Our group walked about a half a mile back to the bus, and we only lost one of our group. Strangely, his wife didn't seem too upset. We waited around while they searched for him. As you can imagine, they don't like to lose tourists. Finally, the bus had to leave to make it back to the ship in Antwerp in time for the sailing. While driving back, the ship called the guide to inform us that the guy somehow made it back on his own. We never found out how he did it.

Our ship sailed North from Belgium across the stormy North Sea toward Bergen, Norway, a distance of more than 600 miles, bypassing all of England and Scotland. The top speed is about 24 knots, and the ship was going lickety split through the rough seas, kicking up spray splashing up on the 10th deck windows. Many passengers were seasick, and none of them were first timers on cruise ships. The dining room was half empty for dinner.

For the safety of the performers, they had to cancel the song and dance show for the evening. However, we were treated to a terrific performance by the lovely Kaitlyn Carr, a Scottish singer and performer who sang Scottish and Irish songs and also played a mean flute and piccolo. She sang and played Danny Boy, bringing tears to the eyes of the audience.

NEXT; Bergen, Norway: Our Norwegian friends take us shopping at the Torget.


Friday, August 12, 2011


We decided to take this trip, only a few months after our 3 week trip through Southeast Asia, because an opportunity presented itself. Princess Cruise Lines came up with a unique itinerary, sailing on the Ocean Princess, the same ship we took in Asia. Dianne agreed to go if we could also indulge her longtime dream to tour Paris. Apparently she wasn't impressed when I took her to Paris, Illinois last summer. The county seat of Edgar County doesn't have the same pizazz.

We flew American Airlines out of Chicago. Our travel agent got us seats in an exit row which has more legroom than a normal coach seat. On our previous overseas trips, we flew either first class or business class, using frequent flyer miles. But the 7 1/2 hour flight was tolerable. The food wasn't as good as first class. We were served tortellini with lettuce and tomato salad.

Arriving in Paris the next morning, we found Shawn, our driver, in Charles DeGaulle Airport, holding up a sign with my name on it. It was a 30 minute drive on a modern expressway to the Hilton Hotel on Rue de Courcelles. In case you wondered , there is no Paris Hilton hotel, probably for good reason. (we checked.) Our hotel, the most centrally located Hilton in Paris is called Hilton Arc d' Triomphe because of its proximity to the famous monument to French military glory (!). We arrived at the hotel around 10:30 A.M., but couldn't check in until 2 o'clock.

We decided to take a walk around town. Paris is the City of Light, and we searched for some Bud Light or Miller Light, but didn't find any. I don't speak a lot of French, but I do know the word for seal (un phoque--you don't want me to pronounce it for you). It was a 3 block walk to the Arc d' Triomphe which was built by Napoleon in 1806 after he led France to triumph in the Battle of Austerlitz. Never mind that several years later, Napoleon and France met their Waterloo, but the arch had already been built, and they weren't about to take it down. Actually, it wasn't completed until 1833.

The French are lovers, not fighters. Their great military victories were hundreds of years ago. Charlemagne started it all about 1200 years ago when he kicked some serious butt around Europe before Y1K. France also won the Thirty Years' War which ended in 1648. Since then we've had the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 and World Wars I and II--well, they wound up on the winning side. And who can forget Dien Bien Phu? Agincourt, back in 1415? They did win the French Revolution, but then they were fighting the French. As a Chicagoan, I can understand. Back home we have the Chicago Cubs. In any event, there are military monuments all over Paris.

The Arc d' Triomphe is quite an impressive structure, 164 feet high and 148 feet wide. The arch is wide enough to fly a small airplane through it, and somebody actually did in 1919. Charles Godefroy flew a small bi-plane through the arch a couple of weeks after another pilot was killed while training for it. Twelve streets radiate out from it in all directions, the most famous of which is the Champs Elysees (Elysian Fields), the fashionable business street. Amid the many sidewalk cafes one finds Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and other well known retailers. The most popular store on the street is McDonald's which is doing a land office business.


We were looking for but still hadn't see the Eiffel Tower. We consulted the map and located it about a mile away. We turned right, down George V (Fifth) Street toward the Seine River which divides the city roughly in half. Arriving at the river, the majestic Eiffel Tower loomed into view, and we stood on the bridge taking pictures.

We crossed the river down to the Left Bank and walked toward the Eiffel Tower past several art museums. One featured African and South American art, but we didn't need to come to France to see that. We approached the tower and didn't realize how big it is. We've seen the one in Las Vegas many times, but that one is a half size replica. The Eiffel Tower, about 1000 feet high, was the tallest building in the world when it was built in 1889--it surpassed the Great Pyramid of Giza and also the Washington Monument.

When it was built, many contemporaries considered it an eyesore. For example the novelist Guy de Maupassant ate lunch there every day because, as he put it, "It was the only place in Paris where he couldn't see it." It was built for the World's Fair of 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The architect, Gustave Eiffel, who had also built the Statue of Liberty in 1885, intended it to be temporary, and it was slated to be dismantled in 20 years. By 1909 it had become important in the communications industry and they left it there. Periodically, the French considered dismantling it for scrap metal because it is costly to maintain--the 9400 tons of wrought iron must be painted every seven years to protect it from rust.

African street vendors hawked small replicas of the Eiffel Tower and we saw them often scooping up their wares in blankets and leaving the area when the gendarmes approached them. The Eiffel Tower sits in a small park and has several gift shops, food stands and ticket offices at the 4 massive legs of the structure. Throngs of tourists milled about and purchased tickets for the elevators to take them to the second level (about 300 feet up) where you have to buy another ticket to go to the top.

We didn't go up then, but we did so two days later. We took the diagonal elevator to the second level which boasts gift shops and the exclusive Jules Verne Restaurant. They pack about 60 people in the elevator car. The view is very nice when it isn't overcast and rainy. People lined up to buy tickets to ascend the remaining 700 feet or so to the top. We would have considered it, but it was raining and getting late. We had reservations for the Moulin Rouge and had to get cleaned up for that.

We walked the mile or so back to our hotel to get some rest. Although the Hilton is a first class hotel, the nicely furnished rooms are significantly smaller than those at the Hilton in Shanghai or the Conrad in Singapore where we stayed a few months ago. This Hilton has no gift shop and no pool. It has the Purple Bar, not to be confused with the Purple Hotel near Chicago. You couldn't write a poem about it because there are no words that rhyme with purple. The concierge was very helpful. On TV, they have all Jerry Lewis, all the time. Actually, I'm kidding about that--I scanned the TV listings and found no Jerry Lewis movies. There weren't even any Dean Martin movies.

At dinner time, we asked the concierge for a restaurant recommendation. He directed us to the Cafe Loricime, about 3 blocks away, across from a flower market on Rue du Faub. St.-Honore ( I love the street names!). We had oysters, escargots in the shell, Scottish salmon, Sole Meunaire. Before the main course, they served small cups of vichyssoise soup, not cold but at room temperature. The best part of dinner was the French bread rolls. We had wine. The worst part was the bill which was 115 Euros including the VAT (value added tax). The VAT tax is 5.5% on food and 19% on alcoholic drinks. They charge 3.5 Euros for water. We're talking about 159 bucks for dinner for two!


The next morning, Monday, we planned to visit the Louvre, the famous art museum and also the world's largest palace. We walked to the Champs Elysees and waited and waited for the Green Bus, a double decked tourist bus which didn't show. So we hailed a taxi for 2 mile or so drive to the Louvre. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays and Versailles is closed on Monday, so if we didn't go today, we were in trouble. On arriving, it was bedlam, with tour groups and students lined up. You have to enter through a large glass pyramid, built in the 1990's which seems out of place here.

The Louvre is about 900 years old. The French kings lived there until Louis XIV, the Sun King moved his operation to Versailles in 1682 and used the Louvre to house his art collection. The most popular exhibit is DiVinci's La Gioconda (the Mona Lisa) which is surprisingly small in size. Unlike other priceless paintings, it is kept behind bullet-proof glass and a railing with a guard, so you can't get really close to it, making it difficult to snap a good photo. The painting actually was stolen in 1911 by a former employee who tucked it under his coat and walked out. It wasn't recovered for 2 years. I elbowed my way to the front of the crowd to get the best photo I could.

The lines to get in the museum were long, and I can see the benefit of going on an organized tour group. The museum is huge and one can spend days there viewing the multitude of artworks. They had Roman, they had Greek, they had Egyptian--not to mention painters of French, German, Dutch, Flemish and Italian origins, as well as sculptures (does Venus de Milo ring a bell?). But we had only an hour or two and didn't have time to really do this place right. We were schlepping our jackets because of the cool, rainy weather, and it was getting stuffy in there because of the throngs of people. We finally had to get out, and we caught the Green Bus which we couldn't find earlier in the day.

We sat up on the open top of the bus in the cool, gloomy weather. We got the full sightseeing tour--Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sorbonne, the Left Bank, Hotel des Invalides (disabled veterans home), listening to the English narrative. We got off near Notre Dame to have lunch at a small cafe. Dianne had onion soup and I had poisson (fish) soup, served with French bread and cheese. Everything is very expensive in Europe, and it probably cost us around $25 for the small lunch, but the food was good. We hopped back on the next bus and rode around Paris on three different bus routes. We saw the Opera (remember the Phantom?) and the Pantheon where many great Frenchmen are buried.

That evening, we visited the Italian restaurant next door to the Cafe Loricime. We feasted on gnocchi, linguine with clams, and bruschette. To me this was good ol' American food.


The following day, Tuesday, it rained pretty much all day, but we were going to Versailles, about 18 miles out of town, no matter what. Versailles is a huge palace. It began as a hunting lodge out in the country for Louis XIII. Louis XIV played and hunted there as a boy. XIV decided in 1682 to move the government there, partly so he could keep his eye on the nobility. (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!) Essentially, he kept them in gilded cages. Louis XIV, called the Sun King, greatly expanded the palace in his 72 year reign. He believed that bathing in water was harmful and, during his lifetime, he took between 2 and 6 baths, depending on whom you talk to.

Louis XIV became king at age 5, but his mother, Anne of Austria, ran the show with her prime Minister, Cardinal Mazarin, for about 15 years. She was resented by the nobles because she was Austrian (or was it Australian?), and so she often went out of her way to piss them off. During her regency, France settled the Thirty Years' War at the Treaty of Westphalia, to France's benefit, receiving Alsace and other Habsburg lands.

Ultimately, Louis XIV took over, followed by XV and XVI. There are no records of what they called each other. The salons (rooms) are spectacular, with priceless paintings adorning the walls and ceilings, not to mention the Louis XVI chairs and other furniture that the French are famous for. The beautiful Hall of Mirrors was used for grand celebrations. It was the site of the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I although it was not called that at the time. Just outside are the exquisite gardens which you have to pay extra to see. We would see it from the windows, but since it was raining, we passed on that.

One thing that was lacking is they don't have a lot of washrooms in the palace. In Louie's day, they used chamberpots which they emptied out the nearest windows, but that doesn't sit well today with tourists. According to Duc Saint-Simon, a contemporary of Louie, the smell was said to "unique out of all the palaces of Europe". On this day, the ladies' queue extended into the parking lot.

We were herded through the state apartments which included the king's bedroom and the queen's bedroom--they didn't have to share one. Along with the bedrooms, or bedchambers, as they were called, each had a library, drawing room and guardrooms. Among the many drawing rooms were the Mars, Venus, Hercules and Diana Drawing Rooms. I'm not sure what kind of drawing they did, but in the old days, they would serve hors d'oeuvres to the nobles in those rooms.

We saw the guillotine which was applauded at the time because it was a humane way to kill political prisoners. The French thought of everything!


In the evening, we took a taxi to the nightclub district in Montmatre to see the famed Moulin Rouge which is one of the most famous cabarets in the world and one of the 500 places you must see before you die. Moulin Rouge, which means "red mill" is a Paris landmark with an iconic red windmill on the roof. This is a garish nightclub located across the street from a lap dance joint and sex shops. Our concierge asserted that Moulin Rouge is overrated, but we were not disappointed at all. The musical show, Faerie was terrific. It featured about 30 can-can girls and about 10 male dancers. We saw lots of T and A. I've seen every show in Vegas, and I found this to be even better.

We were advised that the dress code was formal, which meant coat and tie for men. I dressed properly, but much of the audience, many of them Americans, did not. When we walked in, we were seated at a back table because we had not made dinner reservations. We got champagne with the show, but we wanted some food. Since we were dressed well and we greased a palm, we were moved up close--to a table in the front row by the stage.

Immortalized by the famed artist Toulouse Lautrec who used to hang around the Moulin Rouge and paint the posters which hang on the walls, I can see the appeal of this club. In Toulouse's day, it was a classy brothel. It is considered the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance, which was a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated there to entertain the male clientele. The rich Parisians went slumming there, and the place is very expensive. I felt, however, the we got good value for our money.


In the U.S. we have a streeotype of the French people as culturally and linguistically superior people who wear berets and spend their time watching goofy Jerry Lewis movies. We didn't observe that stereotype. We made efforts to use French phrases and ask (in French) if they spoke English. We found the French to be quite friendly and helpful.

One thing that did drive me nuts--their keyboard is different. In the U.S., we use the qwerty keyboard. In France, the Q and W are on the bottom, not the top, and a few other letters are in different positions. I was typing gibberish on the hotel computer until I figured out the French system.

Despite the wet weather, we had a wonderful 3 days in Paris, and Dianne can't wait to come back. There is much more to see.

Next: Belgium, the home of waffles, chocolate and lace.