Friday, July 09, 2010

Northern Scotland and Lake District

This is not a shot from a Polynesian or a Caribbean island. This picture was sent by friends and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writers Per and Susanne Koch. This is in fact Plockton in Northern UK.

Plockton is a small town by the North Eastern coast of Scotland.

In spite of being far north, these coasts are embraced by mild winds and warm currents from the Atlantic sea. This means that you find plants here, that you would find in a completely different climate.

As this mature Cabbage tree, a common name of different varieties of Cordyline, native to New Zealand and other palm like plants, growing by the Scottish coast line.

My friends traveled to Edinburgh, and traveled on to the Scottish highlands, with is mountains and moors.

Here you will find castles that once housed the heads of powerful Scottish clans that resisted British rule for centuries.

Per sent me this photo of an old castle or fortress by one of the many lochs in the Scottish highlands.

They will travel on to Keswick in the Lake district and continue their rambling through this beautiful landscape.

I hope that they will share their impression and post a story or two on Enjoy Food & travel. I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Église Saint-Cathérine, Brussels

At Place Saint Catherine in Brussels, you find the seemingly ancient church with same name. It is in very poor condition, but these signs of old age are a deception. The history of the Church does not go back hundreds of years, but is a monument created within the framework of the modern state of Belgium.

There has been a church building present by the square for over 800 years. It had its back to the old city walls, still visible some places of the city.

Nearby you find Le Tour Noire, one of the towers of the old fortifications. The present tower of Église Saint-Cathérine dates back to the original 17th century church and is, in fact, remains of the town's first fortified enclosure.

Construction of the present building started in 1854, when the nearby docks were filled in to protect the area from flooding.

Église Saint-Cathérine was designed by Joseph Poelaert, more famous for having designed the Palais de Justice, the enormous domed building by Avenue Louise, and visible from most of the city. It combines Romantic, Gothic and Renaissance influences.

Sadly Église Saint-Cathérine is in fairly poor condition and is today best known for its Black Madonna and child statue.

Église Saint-Cathérine on this map of Brussels

View Brussels on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006-2009 in a larger map