Day Five in Belgium

On my fifth day in the Low Countries, I finally toured Brussels and was honored to visit Dr. Frederic Clette at the Royal Observatory of Belgium.

I absolutely  LOVE  the name of the street the observatory is located on.

Dr. Clette was extremely generous with his time, and gave me a tour of the observatory and even one of the telescopes that he uses to look at the sun to record sun spots.

Many astronomers in ancient times ended up going blind from observing the sun.  Thankfully, today we have specialized telescopes for doing observations.  Below I am looking at the sun!

Can you find the sun spots in this picture?

Dr. Clette also had the observatory’s private antique astronomical instrument exhibit open especially for me.

Afterward, he demonstrated how to use an astrolabe with the help of a modern planisphere.

This antique telescope traveled all the way to Arizona from Brussels to observe  the transit of Venus in 1882.

Dr. Clette answered many of my astronomy questions, and I really appreciated his graciousness and support.

My visit went on longer than I had intended, and I unfortunately missed meeting the regional advisor for SCBWI Belgium, Dina von Lowenkraft and another fellow historical fiction writer, Jeannine Johnson Maia.  I’m so sorry, ladies!  I really wish we could have gotten together.  They were so helpful in their emails with advice on where to go.  I did end up going to Coudenberg the next day and trying Dandoy’s based on their advice.  🙂

Later in the day, I found many of these posters near the Grande Place.

Bleachers were being set up for the next day.

I ended up stumbling upon props and even costumes near the Stadhuis!

After being shooed away by a security guard near the costumes, I decided to go in search of more “hidden” sections of medieval Brussels, and boy did I find them!

The city’s old inner wall.

Another great medieval side street.

This was a fabulous tavern across from part of the city’s old inner wall.

I even found the supposed home of Pieter Breughel the Elder.

After such a long day of researching, I’m ready to meet Charles V at the Ommegang tomorrow!

 

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