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Evan Ryan’s Travel Diary

Friday, 05 Aug 2005

Location: Leuven, Belgium

MapWell the cruise on the Greek islands ended in one of the nicest places I have ever been, the volcanic island of Santorini. This place is a volcanic island with almost any hue of volcanic rock (pumice) colour with the rich blue Agean sea lapping its beaches. They grow wine grapes without trellises on the ground to protect the produce and make the most of the humidity that is stored in the soil overnight as they only get 11inches of rain per year.

The pictures will show you what I mean about its beauty although they hardly do it justice. Anyway another spot to return to at a later date!

I flew via Munich Germany to Brussels on Sunday from Athens (where it was 40°!). There was a 3 hour lay over in Munich so I jumped on a bus and saw the little uni town of Freising for a couple of hours making it back to the Munich airport as the flight was boarding!

Renee and her fiance Jo picked me up from the airport so saved abit of train chaos as the language and signs are a little confusing. Anyway we finished the night with a few Belgian (elephant) beers finishing up some time early the next morning!

The last few days we have been to our uncle Richmond's grave at the Ardennes US military cemetary near Liege. Uncle Richmond was shot down with his co-pilot during WW2 over France during a voluntary mission. My Grandmother (Richmond's sister) and 13 other family and friends came along too. It was very moving. There are 5000 US soldiers buried at that particular cemetary from WW2.

After that 4 of us visited Henri a Belgian farmer who has about 300 hectares of crops (a large farm for this area). My parents met Henri last time just diving around and our families are now close friends. His crops are only yielding 7 tonnes/ha wheat dryland! Average yields are 8-9 tonnes and they are just starting harvest this week.

We had the civil wedding ceremony for Renee and Jo this afternoon at the beautiful town hall in Leuven. The church ceremony is tomorrow at midday. Its great to have my grandmother and the John Fenn's (Mum's Brother's) family all here along with Katherine from Australia and all our immediate family for the big day.

Sunday I fly to Madrid before returning to Melbourne on Saturday the 13th in the afternoon. Hope all is well!