Aside from all the neat places I visited in Belgium, all the wonderful historic grounds I traipsed upon, all the yummy beer I drank, the yummy chocolates I ate, and the wonderful people I met, there was one event, one surprise event, that stands out as "The Coolest Thing I Saw in Belgium (tm)".
Let me not use words, and let the pictures speak for themselves:
That thing is exactly what it looks like, a mechanical, motorized lion.
It was built by a local artist-metalworker named Kezanti who has a studio on the same street I was staying at. On our last day in Brugge, I went out for a little walk around the block, and ended up on the open-air dining area of this small restaurant two buildings down from our B&B. I saw the mechanical lion standing there, but at first I thought it was a bitchin sculpture (Brugge is the kind of town where you can see open air art displays). Then the guy stood up and turned it on and I could not hold my geekness inside.
I spoke with him a little (him in much better English than me in my horrible Dutch) and he told me this was the first time he had taken it outside the studio and was having a celebratory beer. He then stood up and proceeded to ride the mechanical lion! What's even better, I got video:
Click here and leave a comment.
Just a handful of people saw this walking work of art take its first steps, beaming artists riding atop. These are the kinds of magic moments that happen when you travel that you remember forever, the moments that you could never, in a million years, have forseen and that happen, seemingly, just for you.
Furthermore, since like two days ago there has been a flurry of comments for the video over at YouTube. I just found out why:
My video was honored as #98 in the Top Rated (This Month) in Travel & Places. Even at 98, I think it's pretty cool and it seems so does everyone else who has seen the video.
Drop by and leave a comment as well. Maybe next month I can go higher!
And THAT was "The Coolest Thing I Saw in Belgium (tm)." :-)