Part Four : Canterbury to Berlin

July 8 - July 14

One of our last stops in the U.K. was Canterbury. Amy and I absolutely had to go there for academic reasons. We had taken introductory English at Brock in our fourth year and one of the works studied was Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'. The picture shows Amy at the famous Canterbury Cathedral where Sir Thomas Beckett was assassinated. The city was also neat, it had a wall surrounding it that you could walk on. We also met the scariest man of the whole trip in Canterbury, we called him metal face. He had a bunch of pins stuck in his face and was yelling very loudly at nothing. Kids, I tell you, stay off those drugs! That night we stayed in Dover, the port city, from which we took the ferry to Calais, France the following morning.

Amy navigating us around Brussels, Belgium. Brussels was pretty, although the streets were insanely unstraight and difficult to navigate. One minute you think you're going north-west, then two minutes later you're heading south-east and you don't even realize you've changed direction. Amy grew to accept the compass in Belgium, a tool she did not like up till then. One of the days we were in Brussels it was Flemish Day (Flemish is Dutch). This was exciting, because there was a big party going on in the town square. It featured a man in a shiny suit, the equivalent of our Julio Iglesias. 

In the background you see the famous peeing boy, Manneken Pis. He's kind of small, we (along with everyone) expected him to be a little bigger. On this particular day he was naked. The following day we saw him dressed up as a postman. We also went to the City of Brussels Museum, which exhibits every piece of clothing ever worn by Manneken Pis. All this clothing of course is cut so as to leave space for his wee-wee, so that he is always able to pee.

Here we are at the Brussels Beer Museum. Not much of a museum, but the price of admission does include a pint. We had the choice of 'normal' or 'special' beer, so we went for the special. The beer tasted pretty good, although it was more like cream soda.

This is a rebuilt watch tower at what used to be Check-point Charlie. These towers lined the border between what was East and West Germany. Many people were shot at from towers like this when trying to escape the East. Amy wasn't too impressed that I snuck under the fence in order to get a picture at the tower. I would have liked to climb it too, but Amy said she would never take a picture if I did that.

This is a replica of the sign at the exact place where stood the original at what was then Check-point Charlie. (The original we saw in the museum). Right near there is the Check-point Charlie Museum. This museum was absolutely amazing! We spent something like 4 hours in there, but one could easily spend a week in there. The place contains everything to do with the Berlin Wall. Room after room features stories and artifacts associated with escapes and attempted escapes across the Wall. If you ever go to Berlin, you absolutely must see this museum.

Rick at the Berlin Wall. Most of the Berlin Wall has been torn down, but the wall was so long that lots still remains. There is some very nice artwork on some parts of the wall.

In Berlin, as in many other places, we met lots of cool people at the hostel. On the right are featured two of our absolutely favorite kids, Stacey and Austin from Dublin, Ireland. These are two of the nicest people I have ever met. We hung out through-out the day a little and went to dinner together. We then bought some beers at the local convenience store and drank them in the hostel pub (the boxes the beers were held in and the empties are under the table). We then moved on to purchase beers (currently on table) from the bartender. Fortunately the bartender closed the bar at 3:30 am, else I would have surely died. The Irish are professional drinkers, and it is not possible to keep up with them. When Austin went up to the bar at 3:30 to buy the round that would have killed me, the German bartender, speaking little English, said, "No more beer!". The confused Irishman could not understand this, responding, "Of course there's beer! It's in the fridge. You want me to show you?"  Stacey and Austin, God bless you wherever you are, and we hope we see you again sometime! 

Back to Part Three : Ireland and Scotland
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To Part Five : Campingplatz