Dispatch from across the Pond – May 12, 2017
Since my last Dispatch I have traveled to Belgium where I visited Brussells, Bruge, and Antwerp. Brussells is a very multicultural city with a very diverse population. I stayed in a Muslim part of the city. On my daily walk to the city center (thirty minutes) I was able to see, smell, and taste some wonderful foods; pastries, breads, sausages, and exotic fruits and vegetables.
Bruge has preserved its medieval charm and it is a delight to ride your bike through the town and enjoy the architecture, canals, restaurants, and shops. It is a painters paradise (see photos). Watching women make the handmade lace is
fascinating. I had the opportunity to hear concert by a local artist who plays a version of the steel drums. He augments that sound with a didgeridoo and bagpipes. The town square is beautiful with old buildings, great outdoor restaurants and horse carriages.
In Antwerp I visited the home of Peter Paul Rubens. It has been preserved and looks like it did when he lived and painted there. Some of his paintings and his contemporaries are hanging right where he hung them. (see photos)
During April and May I went to Seville for their annual Feria de Abril., which has been taking place since the early 1900’s. What a carnival of sight and sound. Ladies and gentlemen dressed in traditional fashions riding in carriages or horses which can be seen throughout the city. And the beautiful women! I was told the Sevillana was the traditional dance at the Feria so I took a class before I went. Unfortunately the only women who would dance with me were the ones who were tipsy. But who cares! (see pictures)
The school has asked me to stay on for another year and I plan to do so. My invitation stands, you are welcome to come and visit me and I will take you to see as many of the wonderful places as you have time to see. Once you get to Europe it is very cheap to travel, in euros from Madrid, Lisbon 83, Paris 76, Rome 87, and Barcelona 38. It actually cost more to take a bus or train than to fly!
Keep on painting!