Posts Tagged With: Belgium 2016

Belgium 2016 Day 6/7 – In Brugge, Brussels and Back Home

BruggeBelgian timing is not my strong suit. It really doesn’t take long to get from city to city in this small country. So while I got up early and took time to actually take advantage of the free breakfast at Hostel Uppelink and didn’t rush to get the train, I was still in Brugge before 10 am which is when everything actually opens. Okay, not exactly true. The central square was packed with the weekly Wednesday market and some of the souvenir shops, restaurants and their version of a Belfry were open, but the tourist information office, not so much.  Continue reading

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Belgium 2016 Day 5 – A Ghent-leman and a Scholar

three towers at twilightI left Antwerp early… again. Today I was heading towards Ghent, a town I knew had a history. The train ride was only about 30 minutes so I’d get to Ghent early and have all day to explore. Until the train stopped. Seemed that there was a train stopped on the tracks ahead of us and a voice came over the intercom informing us we’d be delayed a few minutes. In Dutch. A nice gentleman sitting across from me translated so I could keep up. Continue reading

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Belgium 2016 Day 4 – Ink, Bridges and a Butt Plug Gnome

SS RotterdamReally wasn’t expecting to go the Netherlands this trip, and yet, here I was, just past 8am, hanging out with fully armed Belgian soldiers, waiting for the train to Rotterdam. As it turned out, our train was delayed so we were instructed to take the following train (which had a change rather than being a direct route). This wasn’t a big deal and they announced instructions in Dutch and English. The problem was the poor Albanian guy who was trying to get to Amsterdam (the ultimate destination of the train which would drop me in Rotterdam). He was having a hard time figuring out where to go so I made sure he got on the right train and then changed where we were supposed to. I left him on the second train. I hope he made it. Continue reading

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Belgium 2016 Day 3 – Opening Locks in Antwerpen

Big HandOnce again, the boys from Jersey had their alarms set. They had overslept yesterday and missed Amsterdam so were trying it again today. The night before, when I’d gotten in, I mentioned the double alarm and gave my permission for one of their number to hit the guy who hadn’t woken with his alarm the day before if he did it again. I figured that was fair. This time, though, I was ready. I realized I had basically six days in Belgium and had spent two in Brussels. I also knew I had a hostel waiting for me for two nights in Antwerp and in Ghent but that I could arrive whenever so it was a flexible plan. But it was cold in Brussels and I kinda wanted to see what else this fair country had to offer. Continue reading

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Belgium 2016 Day 2 – Doing it the way the Belgians Do

Atomium Welcome SignI awoke with a plan… and someone else’s alarm. There were these four young college guys from Jersey in our room and they were planning on hitting Amsterdam today (it’s a three-hour train ride – something I would remember a couple of days later) and so had set alarms to get up in time to make the early train. Unfortunately, being college guys, they were not to be roused by a mere alarm. Me, however, being an old college professor, I get up at the slightest sound so when his alarm went off for the second time, I was ready to hit the day. Continue reading

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Belgium 2016 Day 1 – Mannekin (and sky) Pis

With RocketSo, Belgium.

Wasn’t supposed to be here all by myself but them’s the breaks. Rasa was supposed to join me, but they wouldn’t give her the time off work and then sent her to Germany besides, so here I am. Thing is, a couple months back, RyanAir (that bane of the comfortable traveler) had a special and it was either Brussels or Paris for us. Since that was right around the time of the terrorist attack in Paris, we opted for Belgium. Besides, I’d never been before and it was as good a place as any. So I booked the flights and we figured Rasa would get the time off after the three months probation period. At least we hoped so. We we wrong. Continue reading

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