Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spring Break Part One...Brussels and Holland

So I have a little bit while I wait for my mom to get on skype, so I figured I might as well start blogging from my spring break!

Friday, Alex, Josiah, Brandon and I left early for a train to Brussels, the capital of the EU. They speak a combination of French and Dutch there so it was pretty easy to get around. The first day, we walked around a bit, grabbed a kebab (the European version of a Gyro) and saw some of the major sights. The "absolute musts" were to see the "Manneken Pis" which is pretty much a statue of a kid peeing, get a waffle, and eat some french fries. The "Manneken Pis" had been hyped up, talked about, and mentioned at least 5 times of things to do in Brussels...but what a let down! it's only about a foot tall, and there were so many people taking pictures that I didn't even get a good photo. Brussels in general however was a lot of fun, and probably one of my more favorite cities. People are just so nice there!"We met some friends at the super nice hostel we were staying at and joined them for a night out. I tasted one of the boy's world famous Trappist Beers and ...ew. it was gross. and Even though Belle and I were "missing out" we were perfectly content with our Cocalight.
The next day we were up bright and early to walk around for abit more...we walked for a few miles to find the parliment building--so big! and goofed off a bit before getting on our next train.

We had bought tickets to Turnhout, Belgium--an 1 hour trip-- and were going to meet Wim at the trainstation and he was going to drive us over the border and to his house. However, we get to the train station and are looking for our platform but couldn't find it! Luckily we had gotten there rather early (thanks to "train trelawny"--a not so cute nick name the boys have given me because of my freak out tendancys when we travel) and when I asked the information we were told that this train doesn't run on saturdays. Whoops! he told us to get on the train to Anvers (antwerp) and change trains there and go Tournhout. But the train for Anvers was leaving in two minutes. So after a full scramble to the platform, we were on the train when I started second guessing my french skills and whether I had understood him correctly. Fortunatly I had, and we changed trains in Anvers for Turnhout where we were met by Wim and his (very cute) brother.

After a 30 min drive into Holland we arrived at Wim's parents house where there was a huge meal and his parents welcoming us. It was so nice to play football in a backyard, sit around and watch some TV, and talk with his family! It made me feel just like home! After several hours and a several course meal, we met up with some of Wims highschool friends to hang out. Everyone in Holland speaks English because unlike Germany or France, they don't dub their TV shows or Movies, they just add subtitles. Since a majority of their programs are Americain, you can imagine how they would be so fluent. We went to bed, and were woken up by Wim's mom calling us for breakfast.

Fresh fruit, eggs from the chicken coup in the backyard, jam, bread, and cheese. yummm oh! this chicken coup thing was incredible..They live in what looks like an american subberb with what we call a normal backyard but tucked in the back are 6 egg laying chickens! so funny! After breakfast we got on the train to Amsterdam where Wim's brother and 2 roommates live for school. They live in a super nice apartment big enough to hold all of us, and were so sweet and such good hosts! We did the tourist thing for a bit, seeing some museums and seeing the major sights. We took a free tour that taught us a lot about the history. We went back to Ruud's apt, ate some dinner, and hung out for a bit. The next day we slept in, walked around some more, played some board games, and had an early night.

I absolutely loved getting the real side of amsterdam and when the locals do. It's so funny how much they avoid the tourists and how easy it actually is to do so. And they are just SO nice! When Wim visits the states this summer, I'm going to have to take as good care of him as he showed me! I left Holland about 12:30 in the afternoon to meet up with some friends from St. Marys (sister to Notre Dame...Cathy have you heard of it?) back in Rennes, France. But that is going to have to wait until the next post, because even though my mom never showed up on skype, I have laundry to do before I go to switzerland to meet Liz tomorrow!

gros bisous a tous! xox

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