Saturday, February 26, 2011

BED FORT: Bruges

I have a lot to say. The past week was just freaking filled with stuff, I have to do a blog post every day this week to get it all down. Hence: BED FORT-> Blog Every Day FOR Thepurposeofchoroniclingspringbreakandeverythingthathappenedonthecontinent.
That acronym totally works.
We left London last Friday through St. Pancras station, and when we went through customs, our passports got stamped with a little train symbol that's pretty adorable. Taking the Eurostar under the Channel was just like going through a really long tunnel... shocking, considering it's just a really long tunnel. Also, where everyone else brought these huge suitcases for break, I decided on just bringing a backpack, (which had repurcussions but I'll get to that later) so now I can say I backpacked through Europe. I'm excited about this. I'm just becoming a more and more interesting person by the day.
We arrived in Brussels and so began the week of English being a secondary language surrounding me, which was weird and I didn't like because I'm completely self-involved. Our hotel was all right, despite having to pass creepy men to get there and a balcony door that was only kept closed by a strategically-placed chair. It might not have been the nicest place to stay (our sink kept making noises without cause), but I thought it was all right- we now have fun memories and staying in slightly sketchy hotels is something I've had plenty of experience with. For dinner, we went to a local place, and apparently Brussels is known for their mussels (RHYME YAY) so I had pasta with mushrooms and mussels. This was a big step for me, because for years I've held my ground against the sick shell creatures. But apparently "It's Belgium, what the hell" is the only coercion I needed. And what do you know, it was completely delicious. Look how much I'm learning on this trip you guys.
The next day, we climbed onto another train and headed to Bruges. Now, I didn't know anything about this city before the trip (and still only know a smidgeon. That's right, SMIDGEON. I like words.) When we arrived in the main square after walking though the old buildings and houses and canals, we had about fifteen minutes to grab lunch before meeting up again. So of course me and some friends hit up a nearby Haagen Dazs shop for waffles. I mean, it's Belgium. I personally got a waffle with some kind of chocolate-caramel-vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce, and... there are no words. My incapability to adequately describe the greatness that is this waffle is genuinely infuriating.

We then met up in smaller groups to tour certain attractions: some people went to a brewery, others climbed a tower in the square. I was in a group that actually went to a few shops and a tea room with the head of our program, and we each got a waffle with her because she's the best person of all people. If you're keeping track, that's two waffles for me in under 60 minutes. Impressive. My second one had strawberries on it though, so in my mind it's completely justified. Do not question this illusion.

The rest of the day consisted of a walking tour around the city and also shopping around with my friend. Where I got some lace (apparently Bruges is known for that, a fact I was unaware of) and an ornament- touristy stuff- my friend bought a version of Looking for Alaska, one of both of our favorite books, in Dutch. And while she doesn't read Dutch (and honestly, who does?), it was ten Euro and books are awesome.

Also, around town there were quite a few chocolate shops, and one we went into had chocolate molded into VERY inappropriate shapes. Oh, Europe.

When we got back to Brussels, we looked around for a local place to have dinner, then quickly gave up and went to Pizza Hut DON'T JUDGE ME.

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