Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Belgian Waffles and Beer, oh the joy!

Last weekend I traveled to Belgium for a weekend. We had an early departure Thursday morning to make it on the train and made it there by mid-afternoon to enjoy the beautiful, sunny day. I was able to take off my coat, like most of you Iowans are doing these days, and catch some rays. The first day, we were in Brussels and ended up wandering most of the day. We made it to the Grand Place, the main beautiful area of Brussels that's really well known, and got a bite to eat at a sandwich bar. We made it to the cathedral and wandered over to a park. The day could not have been more perfect. After wandering around, we stopped for waffles. I could live in Brussels solely for these things. Top off a crisp waffle with ice cream and chocolate and you're good to go. All you need is a little exercise and life is grand. Anyways, it started to drizzle for some time, so we found a pub to experience some Belgian beer. I don't really appreciate beer, but I've always heard good things about Belgian beer, so I tried a cranberry flavored one. It was quite wonderful to be honest. The rain didn't really die down, so we went back to the hotel to chill out for a while then grabbed some Italian, my personal favorite.

The next day we ventured out to NATO, which was so neat. We took a cab who probably overcharged us, but nonetheless we made it! The security was super intense, no cell phones, ipods, or cameras. I expected it to be some really awesome building that was really technologically advanced, but it's super old and nothing special, at all. We had a lecture that lasted about two hours just learning the basics, which was quite interesting especially learning about the war we are in. We had lunch there and then made our way to the European Union. I cannot believe I stayed awake there... they put us in a conference room to learn about the EU, which is not interesting to me whatsoever. The poor speakers probably felt awful at the lack of interest we all showed. After that was over, I needed a nap. Well, I usually always feel like I need a nap but today was legit. We figured out the underground which is always complicated in another language, French in this case. I got some pretty good pizza for dinner on the busy shopping road and then we went ventured out for some waffles. I never eat healthy on weekend trips, but trust me, I do well during the week I promise! We had a visitor knock on our door at 5:00 in the morning which scared me. There wasn't even a peephole to look through the door! So of course I didn't answer. Then a phone call came, but it only ended up being one of the fellow (very drunk) students who randomly wanted an iPod charger.

Our last day we went on a train to Bruge, Belgium, also known as one of the most picturesque places to visit and I completely agree. It was like Pella, for those of you who have visited but even more precious and beautiful. Flowers were growing everywhere, there were little canals with bridges across a lot of them, there were horses with carriages, cute little coffee shops and a market. I mean this place had it all. It didn't seem like there was much to do for people who like to be adventurous and wild, but I loved the homeyness feel so much I decided I'm going to retire there. They speak Dutch in this part of Belgium so I feel like I could adjust... maybe? We never did anything too exciting, but I loved taking pictures and it was a sunny day out too. We went out for hot chocolate, which you can see from the pictures that they gave you this huge mug of hot milk, then a little cup (made out of chocolate) filled with chocolate chips to put in the milk and stir it. I'm telling you, this was amazing! We had to leave Bruge sadly and go back to London, but low and behold our train's power cab thingy broke down, so our train was delayed by almost an hour and a half! Luckily we had a very entertaining chaperone so time passed quickly. And then, we were back by 11:00 pm and I was out like a lamp.

For pictures press this link

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