As Brisbane shivers this week, I am reminded of my time living in Europe in 2009 and the cold times we experienced. Brisbane is just not equipped for cold weather, we have a Queenslander style of home and don’t even own a heater, something inconceivable to our friends in Europe.

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Being excited Queenslanders, this was our first sight of snow near Lyon. We got out of the car and made some slushy snowballs and pelted then at each other…

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The Old Town in Lyon was a favourite place to walk and take in the old world atmosphere.

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French crepes, piping hot made as you waited in the street were a real treat, as was vin chaud!

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Lyon is a beautiful city, it has two rivers passing through, this is the Rhone. Walking along the river in the winter was freezing, thermal underwear, two pairs of socks, a t-shirt, my awesome alpine winter jacket, jeans, boots, scarf and gloves with no fingertips was my standard uniform for venturing out when the weather was cold. Why no fingertips in my gloves? So I could operate the buttons on my camera.

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You need calories when it is cold, we stayed with new friends in Luxembourg, this is Mike presenting his famous Yorkshire puddings straight from the oven. Delicious!

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While in Luxembourg, we met up with some hunters. Lunch was back at their cabin, this is the fire they had to warm your backside, a generous tumbler of port warmed your insides.

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Belgian frittes are famous, great snack food to keep you going and warm you up. At Christmas time, the Christmas markets are on, this Old Carousel kept the young kids entertained for ages.

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Winter trees in Brussels.

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Walking the battlefields at Waterloo is a must for the traveller with an interest in history. We climbed the Lions Mound (Butte de Lion) for a sweeping view of the region. Gentle undulations, not a large area, it was surreal imagining what had gone on years ago in the Battle of Waterloo. The photo above is from the top of the Lions Mound looking at trees and the snow covered fields.

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It was -3 degrees C in the middle of the day when I took this photo in Brussels, I guess riding a bike in these conditions would be a bit cold and slippery.

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We were told it is rare for there to be snow in Brussels in December. We were lucky, it was the first time my son saw “proper” snow. It was quite heavy so everything was blanketed, so pretty.

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Ice skating in Brussels, yes, I had a go, it was my first time and I did OK, no wet bum or broken bones.

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The “First Snow” of the season, these kids were excited to go exploring a snow covered local park, what a hoot.

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And I get annoyed at having to chamois off the dew on my car in a Brisbane winter…

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The Lions Mound (Butte de Lion) and Napoleon.

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These were worth a long walk in the snow. Frittes fried in horse oil from Brasseries Georges in Brussels. Absolutely delicious and a perfect winter warmer.

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We were so excited to see the snow tumbling down, as the snow on the ground got thicker, sounds became muffled then quiet, the snow absorbed sound and everything became so peaceful.

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As I write this, I am wearing my thermal underwear, pj’s, my dressing gown, two pairs of socks, slippers, a scarf and a beanie. It is 1am on a Friday night and the temperature outside is 8 degrees, no doubt it will fall as the night wears on.

Being cold is such an unusual feeling for us here in Brisbane, time for another blaket on the bed and to have some comfort food in the morning!