Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bruges, Belgiumness

The Gigantic bottles of water, as you can tell they really amuse me
Hallo! Bonjour! Aloha! Hi! It's already been a whole week of Europeness for Ali! Feel very comfortable walking around the town, can finally navigate my way around without our maps yay! Today is a free day, which meant sleep in day for me didn't get out of bed till 11:20 and boy did it feel dood! I uploaded pictures from Friday and yesterday's adventures. Friday we had class for much much shorter than we had expected. Dr. Wright decided to cancel the 3 afternoon hours, so class was only 3 hours wahoo! We have had a total of 9 hours of class, will have 5 more hours monday and then finish tuesday with an exam. When we get back to the states we have a paper to write about differences between countries of the EU in their retail sector. What I am getting at is that this trip is really the greatest way to spend a semester. Yes, we are still learning, but mostly from all of our field trips. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn abroad for a shorter time than a whole semester thanks to NDSU CGI. Okay enough of that nonsense. Back to Friday: we ate dominos for lunch oh yeah dominos needed a little taste of home, except the taste wasn't completely the same. We loved the pizza, but here they have not yet updated to the new garlic crust my tummy has really grown to enjoy silly Belgium! We then hiked a long ways to the port's museum and were able to see some pretty amazing sights! After the museum we shortcutted ourselves back a better route which terrified me at first. We spent some euros at the Delhaize grocery store here where they do not provide bags for you sooo we carried all of our items home by hand walking as fast as we could. One of the main reasons we went to the store was for Oven Paprika lays chips, the oven here is like baked back home so healthier which of course means you can eat more! We are addicted to these chips! We Farkled friday night, everyone is going to go home a farkler! Friday we also got in trouble with our apartment manager for having to many people in the lift/elevator woops. That's one thing we have to adapt to a bit better. Even though there's room for more, they are built so differently here that they just can't hold the weight. Saturday we took the train to Bruges for the day! The train station is gorgeous, i could sit and stare at its beauty all day and not be bored. Bruges was a bit more beautiful than the train station though! It's a town filled with canals, it has such a romantic feel and made me miss my lee a lot :/ After touring the city for a while we rented bikes and biked our way up to almost the coast of Belgium, we didn't quite make it there though :/ we ended up biking a total of 18 miles! Talk about a sore butt! I don't know how Lance Armstrong does it! We were trying to reach the ocean and get back to Bruges before dinner at 5, but it just wasn't going to happen. Biking on the cobblestones was also a task in itself. bumpity bump bump. We felt like the sound of music all the way with all 16 of us in a row it was hilarious! After the death ride was over we headed to the restaurant where we were served a 5 course american style meal! So classy and fun and well deserved after all that biking! I also tried cherry beer for the first time and loved that one as well. Once we got back to Antwerp, we all went out expecting people to be out and about on a sunday, but nope! They go out on weekdays rather than weekends which is silly to us. We did meet some already graduated Antwerpen locals and let out all of our american questions. They were sweet and put up with our curiosity. They even told us that until they heard us speak they would never have known that we weren't from around there. That was an exciting moment knowing that we fit in!! They told us that we were far from the cliche of the ugly american which also made us feel good. They like George Strait and The Eagles. College for them costs only 700 euros a year umm that's what a class costs for us! A big thing they shared with us which really erked me was that many young people in Belgium do not believe in God. Of course I had many questions for them and did my best to let them know that Heaven is fo real people! It just made me really sad. I will be praying for a change of heart for the Belgians. Anywho it was fun to meet some locals. We go to Paris at the end of the week it's going to be glorious. Hope everyone had a fun weekend! Miss you all! Smile :) A Tot Ziens!
Near the Port, Belgium's version of palm trees

A museum we climbed to the top viewing deck of. You were able to see the whole city and Port.

the architecture was unbelievable!

All windows on the whole building were curved like this

Katie and I with our new belgian sunnies on!

The Port area

Buildings everywhere


Boats in the port

Goes on for miles and miles

all of the cranes you see even way off in the distance are used to load and unload ships in the port

Diamonds :)

Antwerp train station

Once again beautiful architecture

Real deal train station clock

Our first views of Bruges, Belgium

The "lake of love"

Pretty brick

Kinda reminds of the brick on our house

breathtaking swans

A nowadays convent they were referred to as Begijnenhuisje's (pronounced begginhouse) you will see in the next pic

Canals of Bruges

The buildings are all intertwined

A medieval age road, they were not very wide!

Supposedly the smallest gothic style window

A golden tunnel

Packed graveyard in Damme, Belgium. Their graveyards are very interesting. You rent your spot for 100 years and after that 100 years is up they cover your name with someone elses and bury them on top of you, weird!

Biking in Belgium, 18 miles worth!

Our cherry beers! Talk about nummyness! Everything comes in the cutest little bottles too!

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