21 November 2012

hellooo, jetlag! + the first of many photographs

We're home! and it's wonderful (even though I have to go back to work tomorrow) and the cat is really rather happy to see us after living with my family and their two goofy, cat-obsessed (this feeling not at all reciprocated) dogs while we were away.  I really love travelling, but I also really love coming home, and flying into Sydney never fails to make me feel just a tad emotional (or maybe I am just glad that the 24-odd hours of flying and transit are finally over ... ?).  D and I are both suffering from jet lag - I went to bed at 1.30am with a rumbly, hungry tummy, whilst D is currently asleep in the early evening with his head on my lap  (makes typing a little awkward, I have to say ... I have to angle my arm upwards so that I don't smother him, but he sure does look super adorable right now), but we are back in our little corner of the universe, with our bed and our couch and our television shows and coffee machine, and warmer weather and daylight saving and dresses with cardigans and ballet flats (obviously this last part only applies to me) and, of course, the purring fuzzball, and that makes me happy.

A n y w a y !

You probably won't fall off your chairs with surprise to learn that I have a mountain of photographs from our travels.  Whilst I have yet to go through them all, I did want to post some images from a little side trip that D and I took to Damme, Belgium on our last day in Brugge, because it was absolutely one of the most fun and beautiful experiences of our entire trip.  Damme is around six kilometres from Brugge, so we hired bikes and set off along the cobblestone streets.  I will say that I was pretty much dying of fear at this point, having never cycled in traffic before (not to mention the fact that it was on the opposite side of the road to what I am used to here in Australia, as we drive on the left, so I wasn't even sure where to look half the time).  Oh and PS, riding dodgy rental bikes on cobblestones really makes your butt hurt.  But, I digress. So I followed D through the city, which turned out to be not very much of a big deal at all (save for the part where I inexplicably lost my balance at a red light and nearly tipped into the car next to me), and we then reached the bike path alongside the canal which led all the way to Damme.  I had seen lots of photographs of the canal, but nothing prepared me for just how pretty it was in real life (not that this photo shows you real life, but ... well, you know) ...

{that's the bike/walking path on the right}

So we cycled along (I was loving it by this stage), saying "it's just so beautiful!" to each other on a regular basis, because it really, really was.  The canal was so still, save for the little ducks swimming around and the autumn leaves swirling through the air and landing on the water.  I can't remember how long it took us to reach Damme, but we were there before we knew it.





D and I parked our bikes alongside the canal and went for a wander through the town.





Just so you know, this is where the farmyard animal portion of this post begins ...

Wandering along, D and I spied a little hen sitting on a chair (there's a sentence I never thought I would need to use), accompanied by a little rooster pecking around at the grass below.  D and I then proceeded to try to engage with each of them to take photos but you know, it's harder than you might think to get a hen or a rooster to look into the lens (aaand there's something I never thought I would need to do, either).



There was an older couple walking nearby who were watching us with what can only be described as downright bemusement.  We got to talking to them and they were so incredibly nice, although they did wonder (a) whether Australia is devoid of hens and roosters, given our excitement over photographing them, and (b) how someone from Australia "wound up at the end of the earth in Damme."  After our chat, D and I came across some sheep, which of course we had to photograph as well ...



(There was also a cat in the mix but it ran away when I tried to take a photo).

D and I then went back to our bikes, rode around a bit more and then began to head back to Brugge as it was getting late.  We opted to ride back on the opposite side of the canal and it was just ... well, sigh!
  
{not D, just a random person on a bike}

We rode along through the tall trees with the sunset casting a golden glow across the fields to our right, and all the while, the swirling autumn leaves kept falling all around us.  I remember riding along and thinking that I felt just so damn [ahem - Damme?] happy and so, so fortunate to be in the middle of something so beautiful (although this beauty was temporarily interrupted upon riding through some kind of Fertiliser Zone, which was unlike anything that had ever assaulted my nose before).

And that is the story of our little trip to Damme.

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