Sunday, March 1, 2009

Defeat at the hands of an Alarm Clock.

I went to Bruges.  I slept through my alarm clock on Saturday and deemed the trip not worth the money if i was going to be there so late.  I have time, oh yes.  Instead I decided I'd take a trip to one of two locations: at trial trip.  I would go to Bruges or Antwerp, and I flipped a very special coin to find out where I'd go.  The toss ended up pointing towards a sleepy tourist town:Bruges.  Yes there was a Colin Farrel movie about Bruges in the past year, and no I haven't seen it yet.  
This was a good trip for me because it helped me understand how easy the trains and 
tickets and such are.  I've got two or three good easy local trips that I can do for a single day.  I woke up nice and early, walked down to the train station and bought a ticket.  There are two major trains out of Belgium that I understand:  IC and Thalys.  IC is 'innercity' which is a strange phrase for Americans but it goes to most of the cities in Belgium and a bunch in Holland from what I can tell.  Thalys is the high-speed;  I may use this for a trip to Paris.  One fun fact on Belgian train travel... weekend trips are super cheap.  My round trip was 11.40 euros and took about one hour each way.  I was really happy with the day because the weather was so nice, it ended up around 50 degrees the majority of the time.  And SUNNY!  
I had a relatively short walk into the center of town around 9:30 and saw the main square relatively empty.  That was the last time during the day I was without tourists.  Bruges is a really tiny place, I don't have anything to scale against it.  Take my word though, I was able to walk around the entire city in half an hour.  It is also one of the most popular tourism city's in all of Belgium.  By mid afternoon the place was packed, mostly Brits.
This was a nice contrast from the usual French, but I have actually just started getting used to French signs.  Bruges is in Flanders though... which is dutch instead of french so I've gotta figure out dutch signs now.  Though, at the same time... everyone speaks English because of how important tourism is.  I actually watched the waiter in a cafe greet all the people that came in, he kept his hand on one of three different menus (English, french, dutch).  Depending on how "bon jour," "hello," or whatever the dutch greeting is, he would grab the corresponding menu.
Anyway, I'm gonna leave you guys hanging for the real information from the rest of the week.  I've got at least one more post on my four hour tour.  In addition I have to put in a follow up to to Laurens post on Frites (I went to a frite museum today to study up).  I'd also like to write a bit about my deadline week at the office.
Oh, I'm not gonna do a real "personal development" post.  The short of it is this:  I did my m'w'f of push ups and sit ups even during the dead line.  It was a little rough doing 80 push ups and sit ups at 4am but I got them done.  I didn't do any language stuff... which is frustrating.  I really would like to get somewhere with french before I leave and I'm afraid I won't.  I'm going to make this a week where I push a little harder with it.


  1. I guess if I just read your entry before asking if you saw the movie we wouldn't have had unnecessary conversation about In Bruges.

  2. The movie made Bruges seem pretty magical, especially at night. Also, I believe the 'IC' means InterCity, as in going between cities, like an interstate highway, and I'm pretty sure these 'IC' trains run all over Europe... Nice work with the waffle pic.