Our original start time was 9am, when I woke up at 8:30 I knew that was not happening. Around 10am someone came in and stated we would be leaving around 11am. We had big goals for the day, but knew our late start would probably cut those goals short. Originally we wanted to hit up the Stella factory before we got on a train to go to Brussels, that did not happen. We did make it to Brussels and get to see a good amount of things. We stumbled upon a little market where I got my secret Santa a gift that I am really excited about! After that we headed towards the famous square with all the gorgeous buildings and a museum. I even saw a bride taking pictures. One of the boys who was visiting had already been to Brussels earlier in the semester and lead us down a side street to get lunch. At first I was a little angry because we ended up going into a restaurant that had a menu that looked expensive. It ended up being 12 euro for an appetizer, main dish, dessert, and a drink. For my appetizer I got garlic shrimp, a main I got salmon (go figure), and for dessert everyone got a waffle with caramelized sugar. The portions were small, but that is typical for the price we paid. The meal ended up being good and I was pleased with our decision.
After lunch we wandered to the famous bar Delirium. Took a look downstairs in amazement at how much beer there was then left. We were on a mission to find the peeing boy. There is a statue in Brussels of a peeing boy, we had heard the statue was small, but it was even smaller than expected. Next to the statue was a sign for 1 euro waffles, I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave this area without getting one. Since I started traveling on Friday I knew I wanted a waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. I did better and got that PLUS chocolate! It was the best waffle I ate the entire time and it was worth the money. I ended up breaking my fork in three places making it impossible to use and ended up having to eat it with my hands. This made for a very dirty time. After the statue we made our way to the Christmas market, our main reason for going to Brussels. I was on the hunt for a Christmas ornament to add to my collection. I found one, and it is large, it is one of the biggest ball ornaments I have seen, but they didn’t have any smaller ones that said Belgium or Brussels.
We were all exhausted after the Christmas markets and decided it was time to head back to Leuven. Cait informed me we would be having quesadillas because she knows I love them 🙂 Someone Annie knew from home was also going to be in Belgium for the night and she offered to let him stay with her so before we ate we headed back to the train station to get him. The minute we got back we dove in head first to all the yummy quesadillas and chocolate assortment that Tissy bought.
Saturday night we went out to all of the local places that everyone raved about. Our main goal was to get some glasses to bring home. I ended up getting one stella glass, a tall glass with some gold on it and another type of glass. I know Erin also got three. After awhile we were getting tired and decided to get some friites. Friites are fries, and in Belgium they put this sauce called Andalouse sauce. THEY WERE SO GOOOOOOD!!!
Saturday was a busy day and I am happy with all that we got accomplished, I wish that we had, had more time, but we didn’t. Our interesting travel Sunday will be updated tomorrow!!
Friday was one of the longest days of my entire life. It started
bright pitch black and early at 6am, by the time we arrived in Leuven it was 5:30pm (with an hour time change). After wandering around like total tourists we finally ran into someone from Loyola. She had let me know Annie was wandering around on the tracks looking for us. We ventured back into the train station and I just called out her name until we finally saw each other. Because Annie didn’t know Erin was coming it was so cute to see her reaction, it has been far to long since we have all seen each other (that includes you Liz!). On our way back we saw a waffle stand and I knew I need to stop and have one. My goal of the trip was to eat lots of waffles, when in Belgium right? Anyways Cristina and I got a waffle with one scoop of Speculoos ice cream, one scoop hazelnut ice cream, and one scoop chocolate ice cream. It was delicious and of course I made a mess eating it. Annie took us back to the Huis where everyone was waiting for us to arrive. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time because I was going to see so many of my friends, I mean there are about 6 people from my floor last year all in Belgium together for the year!!
After saying hello to everyone and meeting a ton of new people we sat down in the kitchen to get started cooking. Cristina cleaned the chicken, Nicole cooked the chicken, Annie and Erin cut up veggies, Cait got all the groceries, and Nora made buff chix dip. It was a delicious meal of fajitas with good friends and the best conversations catching up. After much debate half the group decided to go out for the night and the other half stay in. I decided to stay in with Nora because I was exhausted. We played a round of bananagrams and I probably watched 5 minutes of The Notebook before I fell asleep.
Overall day 1 was amazing even after the ridiculous amount of traveling we ended up doing.
I am off to Belgium for the weekend to spend some quality time with my long lost best friend, ANNIE BOYLE!! I was really disappointed earlier in the semester when I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to Leuven to see all my friends. I finally found super cheap (12 pound round trip!) tickets and booked my tickets ASAP. Granted I have to fly out of a different airport, but the train ticket wasn’t pricey either!
It has been far to long since I have seen Annie and I cannot flipping wait! I wish I had more time to spend in Leuven, but classes will be waiting for me back at Newcastle on Monday (yes I go to class here). I am very excited though because I know I will get to hang out with her again at Christmas break before she heads back off to Leuven for another semester.
Next week will be my recap on the best weekend of my study abroad experience.
HAPPY TURKEY DAY EVERYONE!!!
I am spending today in class…boooo. And tonight we are having a HUGE…I mean huge thanksgiving dinner. There are about 50ish people that are going to be there, and I am dumb and volunteered to make potatoes. I have no idea how to make mashed potatoes, I know its not that hard, but I have never made them before. AWKS. I hope I can manage to make a good batch of potatoes. I miss everyone at home and wish I could be eating dinner with all of you, but I will be home soon!
This past Saturday we went to Beamish as a group. Beamish is an open air museum located 20 minutes away from Newcastle. At first I wasn’t at all excited to go and didn’t even know if I wanted to go, but then I remembered the trip was free and I should take advantage of it. There was said to be an outdoor market there and I got extremely excited. One of my favorite things since I have been here is the outdoor markets. They are so neat and we don’t have anything like them at home. This little market was just that, little. There were four booths which didn’t contain much. We rode the tram around Beamish and took in all the sights. It was a cute little “town” where we could see how things were in the “olden” days. It actually reminded me a bit of Storyland. There was an old car shop, with lots of old cars, an old candy store, a post office and a couple other essential shops. Over all I think we spent about 2 hours in Beamish and that was the perfect amount of time. I am glad I went, but it isn’t some place I would take people who were coming to visit.
PS I turn 21 in less the three months!!