It's a beautiful, warm, and uncommonly dry spring in Belgium, so I've been doing a lot of traveling on the weekends. I generally meet up with other exchange students and spend the night somewhere...and I've been going through go-passes like crazy. SNCB probably loves me.
Anyway, last week I finally went to the North Sea! I went to Brussels on Friday night, where I went out with several exchange students at Delirium. Then Johanna, Liam, Austin and I took the midnight train back to Austin's house for the night. We got up early enough the next morning and headed to the train station...only to find out that no trains were running through Linkebeek that day. Perfect.
So, instead, we took the bus and a tram into Bruxelles-Midi, where we found a train to Blankenberg. From there we took the tram to De Haan, right on the North Sea. We stopped at a grocery store to get our picnic of baguettes, goat cheese, américain préparé, and apples, which we ate in a park.
There are these funny little buggy/bicycle hybrids all over. They're really popular near the sea.
After lunch, we walked over to the beach. Liam and I went wading in the (rather chilly) sea, while Johanna and Austin looked for pretty shells. We were lucky with the weather- it was actually supposed to rain that day, but it ended up being sunny and warm enough. It was windy, of course, but it was still very pleasant.
In the afternoon, we decided that it was a good time to get back to Brussels. But first...instead of taking the stairs, Austin decided to climb the wall, and the rest of us followed. We're always in search of adventure, no?
We walked barefoot through De Haan and got on the tram with sandy feet, content with our day.
A week later, Mathilde, Johanna, Austin, Liam, and Trey came to visit me in the south. On Saturday we went to Bastogne, where we visited a few very interesting museums. It's so cool to learn about our history from a different perspective.
When Johanna, Mathilde, and I walked out of one of the museums, there were a few American military trucks driving through downtown Bastogne.
This is a picture of the Christmas meal during the Battle of the Ardennes. We were standing in that room, where the chairs are set up as if they had all just left the table.
Mathilde, Johanna, and Trey stayed an extra night and we all went to the Allure Libre in Habay on Sunday. My host family and I ran, while the three of them went and found a playground and cheered us on from there. We went to my host grandparent's for lunch afterwards, where Mathilde and Johanna gave Trey a haircut. They did a really good job, actually.