Another interesting train adventure. Our Europe trip seems to be full of them. After switching trains 4 times, we finally arrived very late to our hostel, Lybeers. Only to discover that reception was no longer there. Thankfully, he had left a note with our key on the desk and we were able to get into our tiny 4 bed dorm, which we were the only ones in. We watched a few episodes of our favorite new show, Awkward (which I highly recommend, even though it’s on MTV) and slept.
The next day, we found it prudent to lounge about for a few hours, taking very long showers and lazily starting our day. We thought that a free walking tour started at noon, but found out that on that particular day, it was all the way across town and at 2:30pm. Womp womp. So, we made the best of it, going to a small cafe and getting bagels, walking around exploring the town,stopping for fresh Belgian waffles and going to a park with huge windmills. We got to the meeting point and started the tour, which was historical facts sprinkled with information about the movie In Bruges with Colin Ferrell (hence the blog post title). Our guide was this crazy New Yorker named Jimmy and he was hilarious. Made us flip off a ton of people and took us past some great sights as well as giving us great tips for food, drink, etc. After our tour, George was still talking about the chicken we had in Berlin, so we went to this Bruges Chicken House place for a repeat. But before I could let him give in to his ultimate desire, we stopped for a drink at the Bear Bar, where I had a glass of wine and George got to try a new Trappist beer. Well, we finally made our way to this chicken house and unfortunately, this place did not live up plus they charged us for using ketchup and for tap water. Don’t go.
Being our usual lazy selves and wondering what would happen on the next episode of Awkward, we resigned ourselves in for the night.
Definitely feeling a twinge of guilt for leaving that night and not having a real plan of action, I spent the morning looking for hostels in Paris, only to discover that nothing good was available, so we reluctantly booked a hotel room for the night in Brussels. After getting sorted and checked out, we decided to take in a few last sights before heading out. We stopped at Carrefour to grab a breakfast consisting of croissants, waffles and donuts (which, by the way is the real breakfast of champions, Wheaties) and walked to Minnenpark, also known as the Park of Loooooove and swans. Both of which are non existent there. After some disappointment, we walked back into town and decided more beer was in order. Our guide told us about this place called De Garre where they have their own house beer that is 12% alcohol. I decided at that point to make my first foray into drinking beer and settled on a fruit beer to make it easier. They brought out a big plate of cheese along with our beer, so we made that our lunch because a) it was cheap and b) delicious. I mean, c’mon, you’d have to be crazy to not like cheese. After getting our fill, and in George’s case, 2 beers, we went to the Holy Blood church where it is claimed that the blood of Jesus is held. It was €2 to see it and we decided that with the circumstantial evidence that it was not worth it and instead hopped across the street to the Crown Plaza which was built on top of the original church structure. They have kept the remains and have a small museum in their basement that you can visit for free, so we decided to check it out. It was pretty cool and definitely worth your while if you have the time.
After all that fun, we realized it was getting late and we should probably head into Brussels.
We arrived into Centrale Station and tried to seek out Internet to find our hotel. In the process George tried frites with mayo for the first time (nam nam). Eventually managed to find a reliable free connection and took advantage, only to discover that our hotel was 3 miles outside of town, more than an hour’s walk away. But this is Europe and they have subway systems all over the place, so we purchased some metro tickets and were able to get there in less than 20 minutes. I did not want to venture out, plus there was a pretty good movie marathon in English going on, so I laid in bed and did not get up until the next morning when we had to figure out how to get to Paris.
As a nice surprise, we had to change trains in Ghent to go to Lille and then onto Paris. So, with our hour to spare, I was able to show George a bit of where I studied abroad. But alas, our time was up in Lille and Paris was calling our names.