Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage,
Ou comme cestuy-là qui conquit la toison,
Et puis est retourné, plein d'usage et raison,
Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son âge !

Happy He, Who Like Ulysses, has travelled well,
Or like that man who conquered the fleece,
And has then returned, full of experience and wisdom,
To live among his kinfolk the remainder of his life!

Joachim du Bellay, 1522-1560.

Nowadays poet du Bellay would write:
"Heureux qui comme Ulysse … has visited all the nice places of Italy, Greece, France, Holland a quarter of a century ago (at least) before the tourist crowds!


I had a dream in which I was the owner of two paintings:
"Mona Lisa" and "Girl with a pearl earring".
What would I do if that was real?
Sell Mona Lisa and become a rich man; keep the Vermeer for my pleasure!
About Mona Lisa - La Joconde : Mona Lisa in the crowd
A shortcut to Mona Lisa
Competition for Mona Lisa
About Vermeer in Den Haag : Vermeer in Mauritshuis

I wrote the above in 2006. Seven years later having admired (or not admired) a thousand paintings it became obvious that I should make the step towards painting my own pictures.
I'm glad to show here my first work or art in which I combined realism, idealism, surrealism, symbolism, and a touch of expressionism. It is called "Surface blanche à l'ombre" (sounded better in French than in English). I hope you will like.


It seems that a good home page should show some considerations about what the VT member likes and dislikes.

As a genuine Belgian I can not avoid loving frites, pralines, mussels and Belgian beer what is of a great banality.
See my tips : Frites
Belgian Beers

Therefore I would like to take some distance with that cliché and present here my philosophy of life which is inspired by a medieval poem in Latin from the Bogards.

The Bogards were the male equivalent of the Beguines.

"Qui bene bibit,
bene dormit.
Qui bene dormit,
non malum putat.
Qui non malum putat,
non pecavit.
Qui non pecavit,
ad caelum ibit.
Qui bene bibit ad caelum ibit."

The basics of my philosophy are therefore: what shall we drink to sleep well, have no desires, no sins and consequently go to heaven: beer or wine?

Wine at lunch and dinner.
Around 10 pm a special (Belgian of course) dark beer, sometimes a grappa from Verona (this is my multicultural side).
I'm sure I will go to heaven, maybe sooner than others who don't drink.
Fortunately my religion is not alcohol phobic.


When reading my, often too lengthy, tips about museums and monuments one might perhaps think I studied Arts or History.
Not at all, I am/was a "hard" scientist!
The inconvenience of this academic background is that I check every fact I write. My tips therefore are boring but correct.
Furthermore I'm one of these rebels who think that it has not much sense to reduce prestigious cultural cities to three lines of pros, cons & nutshell and, worst, I wondered why there are so few locals/nationals among the Travel Editors for the main European destinations. But what made me really laugh is that somebody from London wrote that I was incredible when I wrote that I experienced WW II invasion by the Germans and bombing by the USAF. Do I look so young that I could not be born before WW II ?

I have also another problem with the cultural cities of Europe I like to visit. There is so much to see even in one single museum or monument that the dilemma is the following: should I write one sole tip about Le Louvre, Musée d'Orsay or Rijksmuseum; if yes I could review it all by "Wow, this is great!" and load up photos.
I apologize but I'm unable to follow that trend. But nobody is obliged to read my tips.


It appears that my home page is missing info about my hobbies and my favoured sport.
Actually my favoured hobby and sport are combined and consist in visiting museums.
My best performance was 7 hours, non stop, at the Louvre museum.

I have also another hobby and a sport which you will discover looking at my two new videos.
Don't forget to put on the sound.

"Bouboule" my co-writer on VT.

When I get tired writing reviews in English for VT, I get sometimes help from my cat Bouboule. As he is a Maine Coon he is a native English-speaker. The problem with Bouboule is that he likes to sleep so that after a few minutes writing on VT he falls asleep. What explains that I didn't write much these last months.


Many VT members show a list of past travels and future travels.
I don't. The past makes me feel nostalgic, the future is uncertain.
When I was twenty I had the eternity before me; when I became fifty I expected to reach wisdom and I failed. Now after consulting the statistics of life expectancy I thought it was time to write my epilog and plan travels only at short-term.

Meanwhile I continue to write on VT about what I like. Last year that was about my second visit to the Real Sitio de La Granja de San Ildefonso the Spanish Versailles near Segovia with Back in Segovia.
I started some reviews on museums in Berlin Five museums on one island and updated my Paris page after a new visit Three plus one of the best museums...
As travel editor I completed my former reviews on Ieper.
In 2013 I visited again the museums of Amsterdam, especially the new Rijksmuseum Dutch Arts and History and Budapest Why Budapest? .


Après sept années d'écritures principalement axées sur l'art et l'histoire, je suis tenté de conclure par ceci:
"Ce que j'étais capable de dire a été dit; ce que je pouvais apprendre a été appris. Occupons nous pour un temps d'autres travaux."
(Emprunté à Marguerite Yourcenar - "Mémoires d'Hadrien")

After seven years and writing 1500 reviews mainly on art and history, I am tempted to conclude by this:
“What I was able to say has been said; what I could learn has been learned.
Let us deal with other tasks for some time."
(Borrowed from Marguerite Yourcenar - "Mémoires d'Hadrien")

  • Intro Updated Jan 24, 2014
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Comments (224)

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Haven't seen you in a while. Dropped by to say hello.

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Mar 28, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Other things to do but more exactly: lack of inspiration.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2014 at 3:11 AM

    Thanks for returning to Brisbane. I am so pleased your enjoying the Queensland capital.

  • sirgaw's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    I have now posted up photos and review as requested, although I have not been to Belgium. Hope this is what is required. David

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Eddy, can you tell me the exact meaning of "Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk" ? Mostly wondering about "Lieve". Beloved? I'm thinking of a church with that name in Bruges. In French, it's known as Église Notre-Dame. In English, Church of Our Lady. Thanks in advance! And best wishes.
    P.S. Just saw the film Monuments Men, which put a lot of focus on Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, now safely back in Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk. :-)

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Feb 14, 2014 at 3:09 AM

      " Lieve" means indeed beloved, in French "bien aimé". We use it not only for Our Lady but also for Our Lord "Onze Lieve Heer".
      The Germans use also the expression "Unsere Liebe Frau". There are many "Liebfrauenkirche" in Germany.

    • alza's Profile Photo
      Feb 14, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Merci! Your mention of the Liebfrauenkirche reminded me of... "The infamous, dreaded Liebfraumilch" (words found on a blog review of that wine.) Anyway, I can't remember seeing Michelangelo's Madonna in Bruges & this makes me want to go back. :-)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2014 at 4:49 AM

    Eddy, thanks for your ratings and comments on my Bad Vilbel, Land Hessen and Paris pages.
    I have just returned from several days in Paris (and Versailles) and will add a few more tips when I have time.

  • FrancoV's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    Eddy, I saw in one of your comments you are interested in a gravure from Willem v.d. Velde the elder. please contact me franco3999@hotmail.com

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    Thank you for your request!

  • Rachel972's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Breughel or Brueg(h)el. I always spelled it EU, the way you spell it. Yesterday I searched the net about the H in the name. There was no BrEUghel at all, only BrUEgel. I checked this also on the Children's Games puzzle I have for decades, and in my Louvre book of 1951.
    Iv'e spelled it wrong at least for 17 years since I started downloading pictures from the internet. Maybe that's the way it should be spelled, at least in German.

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Jan 27, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Pieter Bruegel the Elder wrote his name BRUEGEL. That's the way museums and (good) books spell his name. His sons and grandsons wrote their name BRUEGHEL.
      As I'm not (unfortunately!) a grand-grand son of Bruegel I write my pseudo with EU because the vowel UE does not exist anymore in modern Flemish/Dutch and has been replaced by EU.

    • Rachel972's Profile Photo
      Jan 27, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      That's interesting, of course I looked in the Good book. I use UE a lot when I write in German, as I'm using an English keyboard and for Ü I have to locate my paper with the list of ALT codes.

  • Rachel972's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    With your new picture, and the old text under it, I see why it was the dog who recognized Ulysses.

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Jan 26, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      You are the first to confirm what VT promised when I changed my photo from before my Odyssey to my present photo back on Ithaca:
      "Profiles with member photos are 5x more likely to get responses, comments and ratings."

    • Rachel972's Profile Photo
      Jan 26, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Actually we're going to visit Vienna and Budapest, and the day before I saw your earlier picture. Yesterday I didn't find the picture, so I searched you by name.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2014 at 5:23 AM

    New photo, Eddy. I note with interest that you're looking more grumpy ...

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Jan 26, 2014 at 5:52 AM

      Hello Cathy,
      On my new personal page I explain why I put my real photo because according to VT:
      "Member Photos are Good!
      Profiles with member photos are 5x more likely to get responses, comments and ratings."

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Jan 26, 2014 at 6:01 AM

      Well, sod that for a game of soldiers (as they say in the classics)!. And there's no chainsaw in evidence, so it can't be you!!! xxx

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