Thursday, March 30, 2006

Brussels and Trainrides

I got to sleep in late and have a nice breakfast. It always consists of only bread and coffee nothing more nothing less. It's fine though because it fits right in to my life style. The other thing is that dinner is so late in the eventing that I get very hungry and then it is no fun. I have to balance out the really small breakfast and the fact that I almost always forget lunch with the fact that dinner is so late. I think that I have finally adjusted to it now, but it has been an interesting journey. I am now very used to the time zone and the food schedule, and it actually has started to make a lot of sense to me. It is going to be very similar in Greece, so I might as well get used to it now. Enough about the food except that it is the best food I have ever had. I get a crossiant for lunch usually, and they are different than the ones in America. They are fresh and hand-made though, so it ends up being very delightful.

I was dropped off at the train station early this morning because the family that I was staying with was going out on an outing that was too far away from a train station that I had access to. I asked what a good thing to do would be, and I was told that it would be a lot of fun to take a day train out to another town called Brugge. It WAS in fact a very good idea. I got on the train, and one hour later, I was in the very edge of the county. I had traveled very fast, but it is a small country. On the way there, I saw the towns and the farms of Belgium, and I really like the style It was very similar to what I thought that Scotland or Ireland would be like. It was green and lush and everyone had a plot of land that was just big enough for their family, their house and the animals they chose to keep. I saw many Shetland ponies (and thought of my grandma). I even saw a beautiful farmhouse that had a goat and a donkey penned up together. I was wondering if it was for sale, but is that going to far to soon?

I got off the train in Brugge. Brussels is kind of a rundown city really, and I wasn't sure that another Belgium town would be much better, but I was wrong. Apparently, Brugge was a capitol city in the middle ages, and when the trade moved away from that area, the town was very well preserved through the centuries. This is the type of town that tourists are encouraged to go to, and for good reason. I took a ton of photos because it was just the most beautiful area that I have seen so far. It is what I could consider the Paroikia of rural Belgium. The townspeople just live out their lives without worry of such things as the stock market, etc. Not that those are bad things to worry about, but its lovely to have a place like that at least to go to.

The town is a little cobblestone street town with canals that you can also use for alternate transportation. I decided to take a bunch of photos, and I did--over 100. I really hope that they end up being good and useful. I want to print a series of a piece of a church from every town I see. I think that lining up several 4 by 6's in one long frame would be a very good way to to it, we'll see what I've got when I get to Paros.

In Brugge I bought some famous Belgin Chocolate. I found some good stuff for cheap, and I am taking a bar to Jesse & Alina and then another bar to John Pack. I remember that he likes dark chocolate and what can be better than Belgian dark chocolate? Also, I saw another store that was a toy store, and they had handmade toys. I decided to be a tourist, and I spent about 5 Euro on something. One thing I bought was for Eli. It is a hand made goat on wheels. I really like it, and I have misgivings about sending it on, but I know it will be used. And, it's a very good and little toy for only 1.5 Euros. That's the first time that I've gotten a souvenir from a place that I visited. It was really worth it.

The train rides are amazing. Nothing beats high speed scenery--really. I love them, and they are such a great way to travel.

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