August 5, 2013
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I fell in love with Secret Garden’s song Powered by Nature as soon as I heard it (lyrics here). It makes me remember the times nature has touched my heart and once again reminded me of the greatness of God’s creations. “I’m powered by mountains, they make me feel so small, so I can seize the wonder and the greatness of it all…I know I’m a part of God’s great universe!” Often throughout my travels, I like to pause and just let the serenity of nature surround me. Then I am thankful that God granted me this big big world to explore, to experience, to enjoy.
No lavenders in Provence nor tulips in Keukenhof this year, but what a blessing it was to see the sunflower fields last week, row on row, stretching without end towards the blue sky, beyond the vast horizon. To be in touch with nature in its purest form, to listen to the voice of the truest beauty speaking through the wind – such marvel and awe. This was in the midst of a trip to the Royan zoo, two hours away from Bordeaux. If anything was worth the trouble of going all the way, this was it. (By the way, I almost fainted from this indescribable beauty…it was way beyond anything words can hope to convey.)
November 28, 2012
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Some time ago, I made a note to myself to write a post entirely dedicated to Saint-André cathedral, right in the centre of Bordeaux. I think the last time I mentioned it was more than a year ago. Now, it’s time to get down to business.
I pass by Saint-André every day when I take the tram to work, as it is centrally located in Place Pey Berland, beside the city hall at Hôtel de Ville station, which is also the interchange between tram lines A and B. Even so, every time I walk by it, I feel that sense of grandiosity surround me as the giant cathedral looms overhead. Day by day, I am still amazed by its magnificent architecture, falling in love with it inside out.
Over the two years since I’ve arrived in Bordeaux, I’ve taken a lot of random photos of Saint-André from different angles, some of which I will share with you here. Of course these are taken at various times, explaining the drastic different shades of the sky 😉
First up, we have the southern façade of Saint-André, taken in late January 2012. Tram line B passes right in front of it and I live right up ahead, near Palais de Justice. After visiting so many cities and seeing so many cathedrals in Europe, Saint-André remains my favourite one, though it may not be the largest or most impressive. Notable mentions go to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption in Clermont-Ferrand, France, the Dom in Cologne, Germany, and the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium.
March 11, 2012
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Two more weeks until daylight saving time begins. Two more weeks until our second annual training school. Two more weeks until I head back to France. Hooray!
I know I mentioned that there hasn’t been much sunshine in Louvain-la-Neuve lately, but when when there is sun, this is quite a relaxing place to be at. Ever since the trip to Ghent, I’ve stayed in Louvain-la-Neuve every weekend – gasp! Weekend afternoon walks became my activity of choice here, especially pleasant during the two weekends when it was warm and sunny out! Spring was definitely coming, right?
Wrong. Weather here fluctuates like the lottery. When I thought the sunny weather meant that it was the beginning of spring, Mother Nature burst my bubble by sending snow last week. Splendid. For two or three days I felt like we were back in that period of time at the beginning of February when Europe was invaded by a sudden cold attack. I almost had to get my scarf and gloves out again. Not amusing.
I am glad, however, that I did take advantage of those warm days and left the house to enjoy the rarity. My favourite place in Louvain-la-Neuve is definitely the lake. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with the lake for a nice, relaxing afternoon.
On this day, my original destination was actually not the lake. I began by wandering through some residential areas of LLN, stumbling upon some new, unvisited places, before somehow ending back at the lake, as always. Really, how far could you go?