Danube Bridges: Budapest
Maria Antonia’s 2020 Photography Challenge includes a prompt to share a picture on the theme of bridge or tunnel. Bridges feature in the life and history of the Hungarian capital, Budapest. The city is in reality two cities Buda and Pest, which are linked by the bridges, the first being the Chain Bridge.
I asked my wife one evening, if she would like to go for waffles in the morning. She said that that would be nice, so bright and early I woke her so she could have her sweet treat. What she didn’t know was that I had come to the conclusion that the best place for waffles, must by definition be in Belgium. Our daughters secretly passed me her passport and we were off.
It didn’t take her long to figure out that this was no quick trip to the local pancake house. No, we headed south to Dover, and caught the ferry and made our way the Bruges.
We found a wonderful Flemish-gabled shop that served amazing waffles. Next we went for hot chocolate at the Old Chocolate House on Mariastraat. This was no mildly chocolate-flavoured milk product, but hot liquid artisan cocoa.
Bruge was our first foreign getaway.
WHAT PEGMAN SAW: Bruges, Belgium
My wife and I took a discount coach journey to Amsterdam at the same time as the London Olympics. We were going for a “quiet” getaway in an attempt to avoid the sporting hysteria that seemed to have gripped Britain at the time. The result was far from what we had envisioned. In fact, we never again took a coach trip.
A scheduled coach to Amsterdam
The price the lowest we could pay
Direct from London Victoria it went
In the late hours of the day
A youth group beside us also did board
On their agenda was not slumber
So rowdy was the adolescent horde
The decibels became to hard to number
The return leg – marked by long delay
For the youths did in Holland purchase
Various items – that UK laws – disobey
So we had to wait for customs to do the searches
Inspiration Call: Fun Write Friday’s: Write a poem based on a time you’ve traveled by bus – whether a school bus, around town, or a long distance trip to visit a certain destination.
It was late evening and the end of an idyllic day. The food at the resort was amazing, and the excursion to the sea caves had been made even more magical by the arrival of a pod of dolphins as the holiday makers lunched on the catamaran.
Later that evening the resort put on a cultural showcase. Dancers, musicians, and traditional storytellers enthralled the guests with their talents. Now with late evening drinks completed, and tomorrow being a “stay in” day at the resort, the tour group from Hamburg readied their tri-colour towels to mark their places for the morn.
My apologies for stooping to a stereotype, but it seemed a fun take on the prompt – at least from a British perspective.
100 Word Wednesday: Week 140
Photo courtesy of P. Allman
Security was tight. The first bilateral meeting between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Fairie in nearly nine hundred years was about to take place on a remote island somewhere in the Northwest of England. It was going to be a diplomatic coup for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and it would prove he could arrange trade deals in a post-Brexit world.
As the two boats were moored the shaggy haired blonde Johnson strode over to Queen Wilhelmina LVI and bowed before extending his hand for her to shake.
“Your Majesty, I am chuffed that you have agreed to this meeting,” The Prime Minister said a little too loudly.
“As am I, ” the regal Fairy responded. “We have much to discuss. Oh, by the way, I love your pink boat.”
Sunday Photo Fiction – Sep 29 2019
As Britain approaches uncertain constitutional challenges, and the elected Parliament faces being prorogued, it is time to reflect on how we got here and how we should react. In the 2016 referendum, British voters were asked whether we should leave the European Union. There was misinformation in the lead up to the vote, and the country spoke accordingly.
With a leave vote secured the nation began the process of negotiations. The process ended the political careers of two Prime Ministers, and the third now seeks to dictate terms for Brexit without Parliament, or perhaps a suitable deal with the remaining countries of the European Union.
There seems to be little thought to consequences as long as the political agenda is fulfilled.
I find these frightening times, and therefore, must hold to the faith that God is in command no matter what the political elite or even popular opinion have in mind. We may be heading for upheaval, but I must “fear no evil, for the Lord is with me.” May His rod and staff comfort me. And He prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
As Paul wrote in Romans,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (vs 35-39).”
They congregated up in the hills, far away from judging eyes. The Beckers were the first to arrive, Karl with his thinning reddish hair which made him look older than his thirty-five years. But he was still known for his endurance. His wife Inge, buxom and blonde was going to turn a few heads at the gathering as well.
The Krammers came next, Eric with his gym-built physique and rippling six pack was going to be one to watch, though his wife Ursula had been one of last year’s favourites in her own right. As they climbed out of their range rover, a Volvo pulled in behind them on the mountain lay-by. The newcomers Will Dunker and his girlfriend Heidi Schmitt nervously joined the others and asked if this was “the right place.”
Soon all eight couples had gathered on the windblown hilltop. The organiser, Gunther Bitmann signalled for them to step to the lee of the hill. He then unbuttoned and removed his duffle coat and the others began to follow suit. Then he said, “Welcome to our 2019 mixed-doubles yodeling contest.”
First Line Friday: July 19th, 2019
It’s Travel Tuesday, and I am going to deviate a bit from my usual postings. Within Europe (European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland) travellers from one member nation can receive medical treatment in another member state for free or at a reduced cost (usually in line with the provision for members of the host nation). To obtain this, one needs a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
The card replaced the old E111 card, which did virtually the same, but provided a more streamlined service as it also replaced various other European schemes such those for students and hauliers).
The card is free, and issued by one’s own state of residence. It does not, however, remove the need for travel insurance, as it doesn’t cover the cost of repatriation or “up front” payments which are required by some countries (though these may later be reimbursed for card holders).
The card must be valid (they do have expiry dates), and must be presented at the time of treatment. For UK residents in the face of the uncertainty over Brexit, it seems that the card will remain valid (at least for a while). The UK and the EU have reached an “agreement in principle” for a transition period between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020. What will happen to British EHICs after that is still uncertain.
For now however, if travelling within Europe, eligible travellers should heed the words of the American credit card motto: “Don’t leave home without it.”