Sunday, December 05, 2010

Various goings-on 1: Trip to Brussels

Since deciding to revive this blog, I have realized I have a lot of catching up to do.

In fact, one of the reasons I have found this platform less relevant lately is that my life increasingly revolves around goings-on that aren't centered on the pastoral world of La France Profonde.

For example, the most exciting event of the school year so far has been my participation in a conference in Brussels about Erasmus internships. I was a conference speaker and everything, and ended up writing and editing, along with a team of three other Erasmus program coordinators from all over Europe, a "Joint European Commission Paper" about the future of the Erasmus internship program.

But that is probably of little interest to you, so back to "my trip to Brussels." Since I had gone there for work, it was only by the luck of plane schedules that I got an evening to go out to eat. I splurged at a famous old restaurant, founded in 1928, La Taverne du Passage:


The next morning, I had not even two hours to explore the city, and spent much of that time doing some intense chocolate shopping:

I had only been to Brussels once, on yet an even more perfunctory trip, and it left me with a very nice impression.

I had forgotten how drop-dead gorgeous La Grand-Place is; I didn't have good photography conditions, but it still left me stunned:


Also, outside of the modern Euro-bureau areas, the city seems to have plenty of funky, old-fashioned nooks and crannies that cry out for further exploration:

It's frustrating to go to a European capital -- THE European capital, in fact -- and have only a few hours to check it out. So I may be back in the near or not-so-near future.

5 comments:

Dedene said...

I, for one, find any of your posts quite interesting. It's been years since I've been to Brussels so it's nice to see it again.

tut-tut said...

my goodness: before I start, my word verification word is CRONES!

Yes, that prof was just a visiting one, and I was having some difficulties adjusting to preparing for "real life." Plus it was stultifying Mt. Holyoke of the late 1970s (shudder).

I'm glad you're blogging again; I'm making it my business to read and blog as the year draws nigh.

Emm said...

Lovely pictures, thanks. I've not been to Brussels, but it's on my list.

What are the Erasmus Internships?

The Pliers said...

Betty,

Please don't imagine for one minute that your activities associated with the Erasmus internship program are not interesting to your readers!

I personally find it fascinating and inspiring that you have managed to create a full and multi-faceted life in France as an American immigrant, wife, mother, and teacher in a land that was "foreign" to you when you settled here for the long-haul.

Even at this late date, there is not enough talk about women and their employment. In a country that has a relatively high unemployment rate and difficulty getting its educated young people gainfully employed in a rapid manner, your accomplishments as a working women are doubly impressive.

So, congratulations on having been as deeply involved in your conference as you were. Bravo on getting out there, engaging with people, and engaging with Europe.

I'm mightily impressed by your accomplishments, ma chère! And thank you for sharing them with us.

katiez said...

The conference sounds wonderful - how rewarding to be able to particpate in something so important to education.
As to Brussels... It's on my list. Only ever been to the airport and that doesn't count!