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  On Tuesday ,  July 22, 2008 continued...

We visited 2 of the 48 churches in the tiny town of Brugge.   The other was “Ecclesia Jerusalem” which is “The Church of the Holy Grave” and was built in the 15th century based on the original Church of Holy Grave in Jerusalem. 

Like Our Lady, Ecclesia Jerusalem also contained tombs, artwork, and architecture that are indescribable; however this church was much smaller. 


Ecclesia Jerusalem, which Mike picked out to see was next to the Lace Museum that I wanted to see. 

Like all the museums I was not allowed to take pictures inside but the lacework as amazing and very beautiful.  At the Museum there is a guild for the local lace makers.  They come and practice their craft as well as teach it to anyone interested in learning how to make bobbin lace.

The picture to the right is of a women that opens her front door and makes bobbin lace as visitor walk by.  Many lace makers like this lady earn her living making lace and accepting donations for allowing you to see the lace made.  I have always loved lace and the bobbin lace is the prettiest in my mind.  These women are amazing.


We also went to the Chocolate Museum the day before which was very interesting.  I would have never guessed the economic importance that cocoa bean played centuries ago.  Today while chocolate is still coveted, it is consumed by the masses and it is not a part of our monetary system.   It really was amazing but in Europe there seems to be a Museum for everything you can think of.  It is hard to pick and choose which ones you are going to go to as you just can't go to them all and it would take a life time to do so.

We got to the Brussels Airport about an hour earlier than we had planned as we hit the trains with no wait times.  It was a good thing too as the Lufthansa pilots were on strike.  We were able to get on an earlier flight to a different city in Germany and they said they would provide ground transportation from there.  So off we went. 

When we arrived, we got our luggage and had no clue where to go. All the signs were in German and the ticket counters were closed for the night. The airport was dead but there seemed to be several people walking around who were on our flight. They were all talking in German so we did not know what they were saying.

Suddenly one started following another and another and another. We thought maybe they needed to go to Munich too and ran to catch up! We ended up at the back of a small crowd with an airline representative asking questions and people raising their hands. I said excuse me but we do not speak German and we do not know what is being said. The airline representative did not speak English. That surprised us as up to now everyone from the Airline spoke English. Someone in the crowd said “München” which I knew meant Munich so I said, “yes Munich we need to get to München” and pointed to Mike and myself. From that point forward, people started flagging us to follow them or go with a different group, which we did with the hope to make it to Munich as planned.

The taxi we climbed into drove at 170-kph down the autobahn in pouring rain for over an hour. Mike was up front with the driver who did not speak English and I was in the back where everyone was telling stories in German and laughing.

We ended up at the Munich airport at around 11 PM and studied the train ticket machine for about 30 minutes. Then finally a child with her parents spoke some English and we got a train ticket but we were not certain it was for the right place but I knew from research that we needed either the S1 or the S8 to get to our hotel so we headed to the tracks and hopped on the S1.  I figured if they checked our ticket and it was wrong than… oh well we would deal with it.

Later we laughed that we followed people we did not know accepting that we would end up in the correct place. Our first impression of Germany was that English was less prevalent. From the signs at the airport to the fluency of the general population and our opinion has not changed. It may just be Bavaria and not all of Germany but it was much harder to get help in Munich then in Amsterdam, Brugge or Brussels with the exception of our hotel and on the tours we booked... of course, we booked tours in English.   


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