Local Heart, Global Soul

September 22, 2014

Seasons Changing In Just A Few Hours…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m used to driving down green leafy streets before getting into a plane in New Zealand on a blue skied, tee-shirt warm summers day and stepping out in into the even hotter warmth of tropical Singapore.

We then later step into another plane and step out into a snowy winters day in the Netherlands where the temperatures are hovering around zero and the trees are bare, but this trip back from Greece in 2012 was very much a shock.

The difference is that when we fly from Singapore to Amsterdam it’s a fourteen hour flight  that has already followed a ten hour flight from New Zealand and when you know you are making a trip from one end of the globe to the other you expect the seasons to be different.

A three hour trip from Greece seems by contrast far too close by for there to be such a vast difference, but vast difference there is. At the end of October 2012 we stepped into the plane in Greece in shirtsleeves, the evening temperature was still around twenty degrees, there was a balmy holiday atmosphere. By the time we reach Charleroi in Belgium it’s a total shock, it’s approximately 11:30 p.m. at night and temperatures are well below freezing.

Waiting for the shuttle bus at the bus stop outside the terminus is bone numbingly cold despite our coats, once the shuttle arrives and takes us back to the hotel we  have to chip the ice of the windows before we can set off. We could have stayed the night in Belgium but facing sparce traffic after midnight was a nicer option than in rush hour the next day and Himself had had a nap on the plane,  so he opted to drive straight home the same evening.

Back in The Hague Himself carries sleeping children upstairs to their beds. It’s been trying to snow already and whist we have the idea that it’s late summer, early autumn in Greece, just three and a half hours flying time north there is absolutely no doubt that it was cold, dark winter at home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2014

A Little Airport For A Little Airline That Keeps It Alive…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Charleroi,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(Deepest apologies for the lack of photographs of yesterday’s post, I reloaded them and they are there now, Today hopefully back to normal…)

Welcome to my retrospective posts of our trip to Greece from the autumn of 2012. We have stayed the night at the Van der valk Charleroi hotel and now at the crack of dawn we are refreshed and heading out to the airport for our flight to Greece. It’s the first time I’ve been to an airport that seemingly has one carrier as it’s main user, it’s clear that Ryanair keeps this airport pretty much alive.  Planes and airports fascinate me and I notice that many other passengers, both kids and adults also spend their time at the windows, taking photographs and watching the comings and goings of the aircraft. Soon it’s our turn and we are sitting on the misty runway waiting our turn to (hopefully) take off into sunnier skies…

Interesting building opposite the airport terminal…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 9, 2014

Eat Or Sleep? A Hungry Little Mr. Struggles To Stay Awake…

Filed under: Accomodation,Belgian Cuisine,BELGIUM,Charleroi,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterdays post, we arrive in the Belgium  city of Charleroi  (pronounced “char – le – wah) late on a Friday evening.

We find our hotel close to the airport: Hotel Van Der Valk, and having not yet had dinner, ditch the bags as soon as possible and head for the restaurant.

This turns out to be a bad idea, we are about to order and Little Mr is both starving hungry and almost falling from his seat because he is so close to sleep.

Luckily the waitress serving us is sympathetic to the situation and suggests that we go up to our rooms and she will organise that our food can be sent there as soon as possible.

We transfer to one of our two rooms and manage to keep Little Mr.  awake long enough for the food to arrive and for him to eat at least three quarters of his dinner.

A quick brushing of teeth was possible as his eyes fall shut and he didn’t even wake when we put him into his pyjamas. I opted for a few fries rather than pasta and none of us were too long out of bed before that.

The next morning we are up with the larks and go down for an early bird breakfast. The kids are easy to please because there are croissants on offer, Himself and I go for a cooked breakfast and cereal. Our in-laws are there too, along with others who are likely to also be on the early flights and it’s not too long before we are heading towards the airport…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apologies to readers for whom the photographs didn’t show up today… I have no clue what I did wrong but I reloaded everything and they seem to show ok this time.

July 8, 2014

Charleroi: Finding Our Rooms And Settling In…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve found our  Hotel, Hotel Van Der Valk  just outside Charleroi, Belgium and get ready to settle in for the night.

The rooms are spacious and clean and we are pleased to have arrived after a long day.

We have two rooms booked but non-smoking rooms were only available on separate floors so Himself slept with Little Mr. in the room with the four-poster bed, partly because it was further away from reception and saved me some extra walking, and partly because it had a shower above a large jacuzzi bath.

I’m a shower person by preference and my foot injury makes it really hard for me to get in and out of a bath so was pleased to have the room that had a nice shower instead.

Himself loves a bath every now and again (we don’t have a bathtub at home) and as an exceptionally early riser he was  the one most likely to take advantage of it anyway. Kiwi Daughter and I had no problem settling into our room, the bed was comfortable and we had everything we needed. All we need now is dinner…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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