Monday, February 6, 2012
Took my first short trip of the year this past weekend. Novita, Matt, and I all headed to Bruges (or Brugge as you would say it in the Flemish part of Belgium where it is located). It was a nice trip, but very, very cold!
It snowed Friday night, and of course the trains were all messed up on Saturday when we were going. Our first train out of Haarlem was canceled, so we had to wait for the next one. When we got to Rotterdam, the train there that we needed to catch beforehand was delayed 25 minutes, so we made it on that one anyway. When we got on that train they were in the middle of an announcement and we heard "so if you don't have to go to Belgium today, you may consider staying in the Netherlands." We were like WTF? So we got to the very next station and they said they did not know when we would be able to leave, after about 10 minutes, we left for the next station. At that station, they said the same, not sure when we could leave. Then 10 minutes later they made an announcement saying they had no idea when we would be able to leave, be we could take a bus to the next station if we wanted to or wait until who knows when. So we took the bus. The bus took us to Roosendaal where we quickly discovered there was a train just about to leave for Antwerp. We jumped on and we commenting on how much nicer than expected the train was. When we got to Antwerp, we got out and realized we were in first class...woops, good thing no one checked. In Antwerp we had a bit of time (due to the delays) until our train was ready so we went into the city to drink our first Belgian beer of the trip. Finally we got on the last train and then arrived in Bruges. We walked to our hostel and after some confusion with finding our room, we unpacked our things and when out to explore.
The city itself was nice. We walked around and got some fries, this time I tried pepper sauce (like black pepper)...it was good! Then we happen to notice a sign for a Belgian beer festival...this would explain why all the hotels and hostels were sold out in February! Of course we went in, it was €10 each, we got a glass we were allowed to keep and five beers of our choice. They literally had everything there. There were thousands of people in the place and you could not move, but in the end it was cool, we each tried each others beer so got to end up tasting 15 beers. Not too bad.
Next we had a nice dinner and then went to a bar for one more drink. We were all really tired so we headed back to the hostel but picked up 4 more beers to try for back in the room.
The next day we went to the chocolate museum and the fry museum, both were alright, but not as cool as I expected them to be. We had a nice lunch and then bought some chocolate and beer to bring home.
The ride back was not as crazy as the ride there, but, when we were in Antwerp and the train came that we going to bring us to Rotterdam, it was packed, and there were hundreds more people waiting to get on. When we finally fought through the crowd to get in, there was absolutely no where to go. Finally one lady was like "this is crazy I'm sitting in first class" Novita said that we would do the same, so we sat in first class the whole time and no one came to check. Definitely not the normal first class experience, it was packed and people were being loud as hell. Thanks NS for cancelling all of your trains, WTF, it is only a little bit of snow that happened days ago!
So first trip of the year is complete, now to plan the next ones. Thanks to Matt and Novita for coming with me. You can find more pictures here.