This is how the Chateau looks today. It really hasn't changed much.
My room was on the second floor, second window from the left.
As you walked through the massive metal front doors you were greeted by an actual suit of armour and lots of stuffed birds and flying creeping creatures. I found out later the owner's deceased husband was a taxidermist.
Every morning I would be awakened to the sound of small trucks delivering fresh bread or fish. Fresh food was very important to the Belgians. Even those who lived in the city had gardens and raised chickens. There was no such thing as a super grocery store.
The Chateau was owned by a lady named Alice who claimed to be from a line of dutch royalty.
She was quite eccentric and I loved everything about her.
She took me under her wing, taught me some french and some dutch.
And she taught me so much about the country and its beautiful people.
She also taught me about the many different wines and liquors that the french love to drink on a regular basis! LOL!
If you are still with me, then bless your pea-pickin heart and if you are bored to tears then that's okay. I still will love you.
I was so fascinated by the Chateau and sometimes I would go snooping around the corridors and hallways trying to get a peek into the other rooms.
One day while snooping around the place, I went up a flight of stairs that looked to lead to an attic. However,
there was a huge padlock on the door. I was so scared that I ran down the stairs only to bump smack dab into Dutchess Alice.
She very matter-of-fact told me that the area was "off limits."
Trust me, I never went there again but I always wondered what was up there. Guess I'll never know.
Oh, the stories I can tell.
Alice would often take me to the markets in France where she
would buy cheese and wine. She'd let me help with parties and wedding receptions in the bar and dining area. This was how I learned about the
customs and personalities of the Belgiques.
This was the back of the Chateau and further on were horse stables.
There was also some midevil torture chamber areas that were really, really creepy.
I wish I had photos of the inside but I don't.
I read that the chateau was remodeled a few years ago and is mainly used for weddings and parties. Alice is no longer there and a new family bought the chateau.
I lived in Belgium for over a year.
It still holds a special place in my heart and allowed a young girl to see the world and broaden her horizons about life and european culture.
I hope to return someday. There is something so intriguing about the european lifestyle. It is so richly steeped in beauty, history and art. Now when I think back I realize that I was greatly influenced by the culture and art that inspires me to this very day.