Laura Perry reports from Belgium
Laura Perry, doctoral candidate, is in Belgium, primarily to learn about Geographic Information Systems. Here is her first report on what she is doing:
It is a wondrous thing to be here in Belgium!
We arrived on Sunday and have had a busy schedule since then – hit the ground running. We arrived in Ghent at 11: 30 a.m., checked in at the hotel and immediately started sightseeing (the registration desk for the conference wasn’t scheduled to open until Monday), and we were out until dark, visiting cathedrals – some started in the 600s and finished in the 18th century – and
eating traditional Flemish food (the best beef stew I have ever had, among other things – especially Belgian frites with mayonnaise).
The next day was a whirlwind tour of Brugges, which is 23 minutes away from Ghent by express train, and it’s true – it truly is the Venice of the North. It is a stunning city with most of its medieval architecture intact. We arrived back in Ghent just in time to make the registration desk, and then continued the sightseeing – lots and lots of pictures.
Today I have been attending sessions all morning learning the neatest things about the meld of history with technology, geographic information systems, in particular. I have been meeting people about whom I have read for years and that is a marvelous thing… talking with these down-to-earth and terrific scholars is really invigorating, and I can’t wait to continue the conference this afternoon. By the way – the conference site started out in the 14th century as a hospital and has become a large university. It is a stunning, sprawling site and I am awed by the architecture. Will take lots of pictures here, too.
But for now, I am going to run and find some lunch – or even better, some Belgian chocolate – to sate my appetite. The sun is shining and it is a gorgeous day. Attached is a picture from early this morning; it was still very chilly, but as you can see, I am proudly wearing my Memphis Tiger shirt despite the cool temps. Now the weather has moderated and I am going to venture out.
Will send another e-mail tomorrow if I can.