30 June 2014

The Big Game . . . sort of


First, that I'm posting again about soccer and . . .

that out of all 32 countries vying for the World Cup, Belgium and the U.S. will go head to head in a football match tomorrow, 17:00 Brazil time (15:00 CST and 22:00 in Belgium).  That's also way past my bedtime.

The guys at work have asked Jim who he's pulling for and he says, he can't lose either way.  Good answer.

May the best team win.

27 June 2014

Rode Duivels

Heavens.  Could I actually be interested in football?

Not American football, but world football.  Yes, the rest of the world knows it as football.

voetbal - Dutch
football - French
fútbol - Spanish
futball - Hungarian
Fußball - German
futebol - Portuguese
fotboll - Swedish
futbol - Turkish

футбол - Russian . . . whatever

calcio - Italian . . . okay, not the whole world
soccer - English

Apparently the term "soccer" originated in England, but even they call it football now.  Perhaps it's like the metric system - change is difficult.

This is the official ball made by Adidas.  Did you know Adidas is a German company?  Me neither. They expect to make a hefty profit this year . . . in the billions of euros.

In case you know as little as I do about football/soccer, here are a few facts I learned:

- the FIFA World Cup is awarded every 4 years

This is the official trophy made of solid 18 carat gold.  The winning team gets to keep it for four years, but then they get a replica and pass the original to the new winner.

- FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association

- FIFA has 32 teams worldwide

Here's who's playing this year.

- teams consist of 11 players

According to the internet . . .

this is the Belgian team known as the Rode Duivels (Red Devils)

and this is the U.S. team known as Team USA

- Spain is the current holder of the World Cup (awarded in 2010)

- 2014 host is Brazil (that's a huge country in South America :)

See?  It's definitely huge.

The Belgians have gone mad this year because for the first time in more than a decade, they are in the World Cup.

For those who can't make the trek to Brazil, there are big screens set up all over Belgium for fans to watch the games.

Here's a map of just a few places within a half hour of our house that one might go to watch the game.

One of those is about 1 km from our house (US translation: about a half mile).  It's outdoor and has room for 8000 fans.  So we don't even have to watch the game to know when Belgium scores.

All 8000 fans go wild - day or night.

So, for now, I have a slight interest in football.  Good luck to the Belgians and the U.S., but if it comes down to it and if I were so inclined, I'd have to root for the Rode Duivels.  It means a helluva lot more to them than it will ever mean to us Americans.

13 June 2014

They were here . . .

and I hardly blinked and they were gone.

Randi and family spent a fantastic two weeks with us and here's a not-so-short slideshow to help tell the tale.  You may have to take a break and return for more later. Ha.

We enjoyed all Hasselt has to offer - good food, great beer, shopping, playgrounds, flea markets and more.

We spent a few days in Ireland with a train ride down the coast and seeing as much of Dublin as possible.

We had mostly good weather the entire two weeks and I couldn't have wished for a nicer visit.

As for the slideshow . . . don't forget to make the screen big and turn up the volume!

How could I have forgotten this one?!

13 May 2014

English Excursion

Rabbits.  Everywhere.  This is taken at a hotel in Peterborough, UK.

The next photos are of our little excursion to Cambridge - home of University of Cambridge.  

The university is in different locations throughout the city rather than one main campus.

This is the entrance to Christ's College and it opens up into . . .

this pretty courtyard.

The streets were lined with nice old buildings like this one.

Jim captured this bird in flight while documenting the perfectly blue sky - a rare occurrence in the UK!

Re-purposed church

We peeked inside what we thought was a chapel, but turns out it's a . . .


This is King's College from a distance.

It was closed on the day we visited because of exams.

This whole area is for pedestrians and cyclists only which is really nice because the rest of the city has serious traffic problems.

King's College close up.

This is called the Corpus Clock outside Corpus Christi College, part of Cambridge University.  It was funded by Cambridge alumnus, John Taylor at a cost of one million pounds.

We enjoyed lunch at this little restaurant across the street from the Corpus Clock.

Jim took several photos of the head on this Guinness - it has a shamrock, but hard to capture in a picture.

The next day we visited London for an afternoon . . .

This is Covent Garden.

This is paella at Covent Garden.  Of course, we tried it.

We were so lucky.  Another beautiful day in England.

One of the many entertainment groups/individuals at Covent Garden.

Taken from Waterloo Bridge.

Street food.

This is the Olympic Stadium.  We stayed at a hotel just across the street from it.

Back in Hasselt celebrating Cinco de Mayo!