Cock and Bull Stories

The adventures of a 20 year old student traveling around Europe.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bruges, Belgium

This weekend stated off a little slow but soon there after, the fun/exitement factor was boosted beyond expected levels. Before I get to ahead of myself, lets rewind to Thursday, the night before we left.

Thursday had plans to go out downtown to the clubs. Nothing seemingly wrong with that, except that our trian left at 5:30am and the bars don't even close till after that! I set my phone alarm for 3:00am and headed out.

After spending a good few hours and feeling like I just smoked an entire pack of cigarettes from the second hand smoke, I left the club to get a cab. I got home at 3:45, got a good half hour of sleep, packed by bags and got to the train that morning.

Our train seemed like it was going to go smooth but when I woke up in a town before our first connection in Thionville, everyone was getting off and we had to board a bus to get to our connecting train station since on the previous Wed., there was an 'accident' and the tracks were closed. So, what is usually a one hour journey from Metz to Luxembourg, took a good 3, or more, hours.

After getting on the next train to Brussels, I cooled my jets and awaited my arrival in Bruges. Once we got in, we hopped on the bus, got to our hostel, checked in and hit the cobbelstone streets for some grub. We ate at a nice resturaunt in the main square of Bruges where we ate 2 local dishes, oysters and beer beef stew (both of which were delicious but not so filling). After blowing too much money on food, we wandered around town for a good couple of hours seeing the sights (including Michelangelo's 'Madona and Child') and walking around the canals that filled Bruges.

After we had our fill for the day, we went back to the hostel for, what is becoming ritualistic on our weekends, happy hour. We had a cheap beer, decided to walk around town some more, got back, had a few more beers, met some Spanish kids and an American backpacker, went searching for a fun bar, got tired since I hadn't slept for 2 days, and went to sleep. While back at the hostel we were thinking, this place kind of blows. We were trying to think up other plans like going to Amsterdam, Brussels, or anywhere to have more fun. We decided against that idea and waited to see what the next day would bring us.

Saturday, we got up for breakfast at the hostel, then got on our walking shoes to check out the 'holy blood'. The holy blood is what the church calls the vile of blood that they claim is actually that of Jesus Christ himself. The story behind it is that back during the Crusades, a night was given the vile by someone in the holy land and he brought it back to Europe. It now resides in Bruges, Belgium. Every day they have a ceremony for it and you can even go up to it, kiss and pray over it and then leave. Apparently people come from all over the world, just to see it. I don't know if it is actually true but I'm going to go with another currupt ancient Catholic church hoax. Check out the video I took of the ceremony:

After we did that, we played some UNO and chess at the hostel, and then made our way to our most important destination of the weekend, the Brugges Zot brewary where we ran into our friend Nick from the previous night. We took a cool tour through this ancient brewary's labrynth of just too small hallways and doors in order to finally reach our destination, the free beer upon completion. After that was all done, Nick went to get food and Dustin and I walked to the next place, a bar that serves over 300 of the sweetest nectars in the world, Belgian Beer. Check out the video:

Here we had 2 delicious beers and also met a pair of really cool early 30 something guys from London, Johnathan and Dean, who invited us to tag along to a Circle Bruges soccer game. We agreed and after we finished our beers, caught the bus to the game. We got our 10 Euro tickets that were right behind the home bench and watched my first European soccer experiance where, needless to say, I had an amazing time. I've never seen so many people stoked over their home team. They might even put Oakland Raiders fans to shame. The most fun part about the game was talking to the British guys. We were exchanging slang in some of those, had to be there moments.

After the intense soccer action and me getting a picture with the Bruges Bunny just as the visiting team was scoring, we caught a cab back to town where Dustin and I had a beer, played some UNO at the hostel, ran into our friends then headed to a Rock and Roll bar down the street where I met some of the coolest guys I've met so far, a trio of Belgian metal heads who spoke flawless english.

We exchanged cultural stories for a while. Nick and Dustin, tired of getting lectured about politics with an obviously drunk Belgian, grabed me to go to check out a bar that Nick's drunk, Scottish, 50 year old hostel roomate recommended with no avail. Being it already 2am, we decided to go home and got a nice nights sleep.

The next day we didn't really have anything else to do so we just caught the earliest train back to Metz after our late morning wake-up. On our way there, Dustin and I walked down this really picturesque trail along the canal where we happened upon this random wooden scuplture of a human body hanging from strings. After further inspection we found out that every 15 minutes, with the help of a motion sensor in a tree, it would dance. Giddy with exitement for this event, I got my camera ready to take some video and this is what I got:

Yeah, pretty anti-climatic right!!? We joked about how the carving must have arthritis with a British guy standing next to us and got our buts to the train station and made our way home.

In summary, the weekend can be summed up into one phrase...nice one! haha, definite inside joke. But yeah, we had a blast eventhough it had a really boring start. I wouldn't ever go back to Bruges but its definetly a nice place to go for a day or 2 max, especially with your significant other.

Anyway, next weekends plans are still up in the air (as usual). Some brainstorms: London, Champagne for champagne tasting, Stutgart, who knows...

Thanks for reading and 'till then,
Au revoir!


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