Conference and Holiday in Belgium and France May 2005

Brussels, Belgium (here is the National Anthum-click pause when required)

I am going to try and retell the trip that Sharon Tassé, George Leighton and myself Pierre Tassé took from our departure on 21 May to our return on 5 Jun 05 to Kingston Ontario, Canada. For those of you who are animal lovers, let it be known that Matthew Tassé, my son and his wife Lisa took care of our dog Nikie and that our next door neighbours Leonard and Jackie Woods took care of Sharon’s cats (Snowball and Jr). Jamie and Kathryn Briscoe (my daughter) were busy fixing my 1990 Crown Vic and Thomas and Mandy were busy helping Matthew and Lisa. Thanks to Thomas for assisting with the vet before the trip.

The 21st of May 05 saw AC870 taking off from Montreal airport leading Sharon Tassé, my wife, George Leighton, Sharon’s brother and me, Pierre Tassé. Our itinerary was quite clear, we began by leaving Kingston. We would stop in to see Sharon and George’s parents at their apartment.

Once the visit was finished we would then have AnnaLea Leighton, from Montreal, drive us to the Trudeau Airport (aka Dorval).

We (when I say we I infer Sharon, George and myself), went on a train ride from Paris to Brussels. We had initially been confused on the train numbers and that is why we have two sets of pictures, one in second-class and one in first class.

Once we arrived in Brussels it was off to the hotel Sheraton and then it was to be some relaxing fun for Sharon and George and business for me.

Here is George leaving the hotel. I threw this picture in the melee as you see George leaving the hotel block that we lived in for the week This picture displays a bit of the district directions.

There is also a picture of Sharon and George as we walked around Brussels to get to see a bit of the sights.

As we also used some of the hotel amenities, we paused to take a picture from the top of the Sheraton Hotel.

The nights when I came back from NATO Headquarters (HQ) having spent the day in conferences I was beat. Sharon and George decided that I would enjoy the traditional meal of wine, bread and cheese, which is the next picture that you see.

The next picture is of  the Basilica of Koekelberg which is the 5th largest church in world. While I was at work, Sharon and George walked there from the hotel. The walk, I understand, was a long trip. It seemed that it was always just out of reach and is why there are no pictures of the church from inside - George and Sharon never took the time to go in the church!!! How could they??

Brugges is also known for beer production of flavoured beer. One of the breweries is “De Halve Maan” called “Straffe Hendrik” which has been in use since 1856.We therefore had to taste some at the local Brassiere.

(Sad note: The Col in yellow, died in 2009 in a car accident)


We did buy things from Brugges and this is a picture of one of those purchases. The lady to the left is the owner of the store. Her “tatting” (making lace) was handed down from generations. Her wrists were bright red from the soreness of the work that she had to do to produce the product. She explained to us that this was the end of her generations of hand-me-down knowledge as she has borne only sons and she has no daughter to whom she could teach her trade. Such history and such talent lost for lack of a daughter!

In Brussels one of the best places to visit is La Grande Place which is the center of the city and attracts many tourists. On the side streets is where we bought our linen and other knick-knacks. The side streets also housed the little restaurants that we frequented


On 27th of May we all headed for the taxi and then the train at the Central Station. This is where the taxi driver wanted to charge me an extra 5 Euro because he said “You have a lot of luggage”. I gave him the exact fare and left a little upset. The next picture is of a “calm” us at the train station waiting to go to Paris.

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