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Live from Bruges at bad prices

After q hqrrozing series of trqins I q, in Bruges qnd boy is this keyboqrd tired:

(love this belgian keyboard)

So to avoid typing much… AMS Centraal is lousy. Schipol airport is a great alternative. Rotterdam is cold at 4 am. Ah, English mode… now to avoid looking at keys.

Luxembourg was very… Luxembourgy. Lots of Grand Ducal pictures, with the country shutting down or setting up for the national birthday party the day after. Neat castles, scary thousand-year-old tunnel systems, nice bridges and valley views, and so on. All that and a train station full of (potable!!!) water fountains.

The Bauhaus inn rooms in Bruges are right over the bar, which is a bad thing at night. Bar is a bit overpriced for food and drink… I may never get to redeem the drink voucher provided on check-in.

Bruges is very pretty and medieval (is that right? I hate spelling that one). The belfry was back-breaking but the churches have provided nice opportunities to relax.

The 2,70 euro for a cup of pasta was fantastic… we might see a 4,50/kg pancake place later. Good ice cream but hard to find. And now that I’ve covered the important food groups (chocolate is a little out of my price range, but I’ll try some of that / waffles / fries in Brussels tomorrow), a little rumination.

The parts of semi-northern Europe I have visited so far have been nice… safe, clean, etc. But tomorrow evening, if all goes well, I’ll be in my old stomping grounds in Madrid (a bit grittier, a lot hotter, and so on). It will be interesting to see how they compare.

I will also be delighted to throw away my Eurail pass after we get to the Brussels airport. What a pain… everyone wants to stamp it, forgets they stamped it, isn’t sure if the dates are marked correctly (they are, not rocket science), wants a passport… It saved a lot of money for this routing, though.

Actually I don’t much feel like ruminating right now. Without a notebook the opportunities (?) for intense introspection are not there, but since I’m blogging in public I should not be publishing those anyway. Traveling with another person is not impossible, but it is easy to get on each others’ nerves. Functionally during long night train rides it isn’t much different if you are solo or have a travelmate who puts on the music, starts writing, and shuts you out for a few hours… but everyone needs a break some time, and without that sort of thing the atmosphere might end up more on the poisonous side. Good or bad, I don’t know. I guess in a couple weeks I’ll be able to tell you whether Europe works better alone or with a friend, but I will probably wuss out with “it’s different.”

To preview, tomorrow involves an early train and grazing in Brussels on traditional Belgian street food (and I still have not had a Hoegaarden during this trip, sadly) followed by a flight from BRU to Madrid Barajas, a ride on the Metro system, a check in at Cat’s hostel, and hopefully a heck of a good time in blistering-hot Spain summer.

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