Amsterdam to Brussels

Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, April 2, 2007

Good beer, good chocolate, beautiful spring weather, bicycle paths and wind on our back! Folks, we made it from Amsterdam to Brussels and this is even better than what we were hoping for.

What kind of wine do you have?
One kind
And what kind is that?
One kind. You want or no?

This conversation with a barman in Amsterdam and we knew right away we were no longer in California! Oh yeah, and the snow and the hail that greeted us when we got out of the airport.
Amsterdam was really pretty, a laid back city with the cutest brick houses, canals, thousands of cyclists at any given time of the day and of course, the famous "coffee shops" and the Red Light District. Let me put it this way, we really experienced Amsterdam and I will leave the rest to your imagination!
When we finally sobered up, we headed towards Delft, a city with all the beauty but less of the crowds of Amsterdam. There, we were hosted by Elif and Alex, two of the most gracious, welcoming people we have ever met. elif and Alex showed us around, introduced us to the best beer in the world and unfortunately, Herring. Herring is a slimy  fish that is beyond edible even with our low sushi standards. Well, every rose has its thorn, and Herring is The Netherland's.
We crossed the Belgium border like we were crosing the street, no border checks, not even a sign! We kept asking ourselves if we really were in Belgium until we saw the bars that said "300 Belgium Beers" on the windows. Bryan is on a quest to try every single one of them, while I am swimming in the dreamy world of Godiva chocolate.
We have been staying in hostels, camping and staying with host families of Servas.  So far our trip has been amazing, even better than we had hoped for. Sure, we get on each other's nerves, get lost maybe a hundred times a day and the Europeans constantly make fun of us because we don't speak 15 other languages but sometimes we look at each other and say "We are really doing this" and that is, my friends, priceless.
Greeting from beautiful Belgium,
Bryan and Gizem
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janji on

Will you be around next week?
Gizem and Bryan,
I am going to Amman, Petra and the Death Sea beginning of next week and from there I will go to Amsterdam. The Amsterdam bit is not fully planned yet. While in Europe I want to go either to Brussels or to Paris for a day or two. I should head back to Dubai on the 14th latest. Do you know where you guys will be? Can we catch up somewhere around? Do you use cellphones? Mine is +971 50 657 2787.
I really hope we can meet up!
Keyifli yolculuklar!

janji on

Re: Will you be around next week?
Oh! BTW. Forget about Godiva! While in Belgium you should check the best Belgian chocolates out and go to Pierre Marcolleni's shops. There is one in the old part of the town.

meric on

Le Plat Pays...
Belgium, the flat country of Jacques Brel. I have never been to Belgium, though, I have a picture of it in my head, from the song above, which means 'The Flat Country'...Well, in fact, I would love to be there, because although everyone makes fun of the way people talk French in Belgium, no one I know has that accent (except Jacques Brel, obviously, and I really don't know him personally:P). So, finishing off with the lyrics of 'Le Plat Pays', enjoy your once in a lifetime trip dear friends...

With cathedrals as only mountains/and dark bell towers as greasy poles/where diables of stone unhook the clouds/with the a row od days as only travel/...the flat country/ which is my own...


lshelby23 on

Gizem and Bryan! So glad to hear you guys are having a great time... Herring and all. Walker and I are currently in Sorrento, Italy, and head to Amsterdam tomorrow. Hope our experience is as fabulous as yours was!


jukebox on

hello from the flat country!
Gizem and Bryan!

We had some much fun with you! We just wish that we could spend more time together and cycle around a little!

Since you left you were curious to see how it feels like to cycle the whole day.. so we grabbed our bikes last Sunday and did a small tour in Holland. From Delft, we passed through Leiden and ended up in Lisse where the flowers fields are.. after having a small picnic by a canal nearby Noordwijk, we thought we could cycle back home via the dunes (North See router)! and we did it! :) It was 85 km in total! not a proper century but close enough :) Anyway, thanks for inspiring us.. and we remembered you two the whole cycling trip :) Now we appreciate you even more! :)

Hope you're doing well and have the wind on your back!

Kisses and good luck,

Elif & Alex

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