This month's theme for me to do was "Travel". Some place I traveled to and what it meant to me. So...in 2004, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Europe. My good friend, Marge, was going with her daughter's art class from high school and there was an opening! She asked me! At first I, with mouth open, gasped "oh no, I don't fly". My husband heard my conversation on the phone and quickly encouraged me to say "yes". I swallowed my nervousness thinking of this once-in-a-lifetime trip and the rest is history. I had the time of my life to say the least. There are so many places that stand out from this trip and are dear to my heart, but the Begijnhof in Amsterdam calls to me and I think about it often. It is "a bewitching sanctuary of elegant houses around a tranquil green that was founded in 1346 for the members of a lay Catholic sisterhood, the Beguines." In my notes from the trip, Kathrine who was our city guide told us that "single ladies lived safely here. There is a church and two hidden churches." I have always wanted to read more about it. "After the Alteration (Protestant overtake) of 1578, when Amsterdam came under Calvinist rule, the Begijnhof was the only Roman Catholic institution to be allowed to remain in existence. This was because the houses were the beguines' private property." I found it absolutely haunting and mesmerizing. The grounds and the buildings are charming and there is such a mysterious feel about it. Lace curtains and the most beautiful rose gardens. It's very quiet and visitors are asked to respect the privacy of the current residents.
In my collage, with some memorabilia and some drawings and paintings that I did, I have "remembered" our flight with Lufthansa, our ride on the Eurostar, Copenhagen, the buildings of Amsterdam, Paris, the pastoral countryside, The Little Mermaid, sailing across the Baltic, a windmill in Potsdam, Phantom of the Opera, England, Trafalgar Square and, in the center, my painting of one of the houses and it's rose garden in Begijnhof.
What a ride!