This picture was taken on August 8 in Brussels, next to a statue of Peter Pan that is identical to the one in our Bowring Park at home. They are two of seven identical statues worldwide, and I have seen four of the seven – my ultimate goal is to see all of them. Visiting this statue was the main reason I planned a stop in Brussels on the way from Germany to France. I’m glad I saw it, but for other reasons I wish we hadn’t gone to Brussels – and I almost didn’t have this picture to show you!
Perhaps I’d better explain.
We spent the first few days of our vacation in Berlin, from which we took a day trip to Lutherstadt Wittenberg — a very exciting piece of history for me, staunch Protestant that I am. The kids were kind of disappointed Martin Luther didn’t really look like Joseph Fiennes (due to way too many viewings of the movie “Luther”) but found it all very interesting, especially when they forced me and Jason to climb the many many steps up to the bell tower. from Wittenberg we went on to Hamburg and then Cologne, where we spent an unexpectedly lovely evening taking photos of the cathedral — photos you will, alas, never see … nor will we. All because of Brussels.
In Brussels for a one-night stopover, we found the out-of-the-way park where Peter Pan’s statue is located, took a bunch of pictures, walked around in a light rain looking for a bathroom and a metro station and someplace to eat, and finally stopped at a chain restaurant called Quick Burger for exactly that — a quick burger.
Emma had been hoping for Belgian waffles in Brussels, and as we sat eating our burgers a waffle vendor’s truck pulled up outside the restaurant and we decided to go out afterwards for a waffle. Emma had been a little out of sorts about the long walk in the rain (she was the one who needed to find a bathroom) and I was right in the middle of a little homily about how Everything Always Works Out for the Best, and Misadventures are Really Just Adventures, and here were waffles and everything … when Jason looked at the floor by his feet and said, “Where’s the camera bag?”
Long story short: Jason had been distracted for a few moments from the floor, where he’d laid the bag containing our expensive camera, another cheap camera and a Flip videocamera, and his and my prescription sunglasses — and someone had swiped the bag. Quickly and efficiently. The thief was probably a mile away before we even noticed.
So, not every misadventure has a happy ending. We didn’t even have stolen bags covered on our travel insurance. We miss our camera a lot and have learned that you can’t be too careful with your stuff while travelling. But of course the main thing is we’re all alive and well and it’s only stuff … and we’re still enjoying Europe!
And, of course, I went back the next morning and got a picture of Peter Pan with the iPhone!