Belgium Pit Stop

Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 06, 2010

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Flag of Belgium  ,
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm writing this on a train to
Luxembourg, which is just a temporary stop, but Alex and I are slowly
making our way to Lyon, which is considered a hidden gem of France.
Our original goal wasn't to get there, but there have been some bumps
in the road, and our hand was kind of forced to make some decisions,
but I guess that's the best part of just going with the flow, and
knowing that something good will come out of it.

It's pretty wild that the hardest part
of my day is getting up, looking at a map of Europe, a place I've
never been to, and figuring out where we want to go, and how we plan
on getting there. I've quickly realized that travelling over here is
not the easiest thing to do, and most definitely not a walk in the
park, but it sure makes you enjoy it when you reach your destination.

The scenery so far on this train ride
is incredible. The mountains, the old farm houses that are easily
over 100 years old, makes you wonder what kind of story they could
tell. You get a real sense of history in Europe, and we haven't even
made it to some of the more historic sites. Back home, if I was
faced with taking a train ride that leaves at 10:30 in the morning,
and gets to your destination at 9:35 at night, I more than likely
would've passed, but here it's an adventure, and one I'm gladly

It all started yesterday, when our
planning ended, and our philosophy of “go with the flow” reality
hit. People said that doing it that way was ballzy, but I had no
idea how much, and I can tell you, it's definitely not for the weak
of heart. We hadn't planned anything past Amsterdam, always saying
that we would just pick up and go, figuring it would be that easy,
however Eurail quickly put an end to that belief.

Tired from a crazy few days in
Amsterdam, we decided to go directly to Brussels, Belgium, to relax,
regroup, and start planning how we would spend the next 5 days before
meeting my buddy Philly in Paris, since he's going for a few days.
After some discussion, we decided that it would be best to take a
train to Nice, spend some days on the beach, and then meet up with
Philly and hit Paris hard with sightseeing after recharging.

We got up this morning and went to the
train station to reserve our seats on the high speed train out there,
and figured we'd be on the beach by this afternoon. After talking
with probably one of the least helpful persons I've ever met, we
realized that our plan was not going to work, because he told us we
had to book that train a week in advance, maybe even a month. I tell
ya, when your banking on going somewhere, and only have two hours
before check out and make a decision, in a foreign country, with no
one willing to help, and you find out you can't go, and you don't
have a plan B, it's pretty intense!

After a short period of panic, and
feeling completely down in the dumps because we believed our beach
vacation, at this time, was over, we calmed down and started
re-planning. We decided that we'd take the train to Paris, and try
our luck there at getting to Nice. So we packed up our stuff,
checked out of the hotel, said a prayer, and walked back to the train

In line to talk to an agent, we decided
that we'd inquire about going to Lyon, because that could prove to be
our best bet of making it to Nice, or Marseille, even Sete, to get
some sun in southern France. After talking to the ticket agent, we
decided on this extremely long train ride to Lyon, because we were
told that it's quite beautiful there, and also cheap after sitting
down and booking a room. God bless this laptop!

So here we are, travelling across
Belgium and France, not knowing if we'll even be able to make it to
our desired destination, but I'm sure it'll be a hell of a story
whatever happens... Life is pretty damn cool.
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