8-person dorm, or the Radisson???

Trip Start Aug 02, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

OK i have just arrived in Hasselt today and I'm looking forward to checking out Pukkelpop which starts tomorrow...

The hotel here is awesome, it makes me actually kinda glad I couldn't get anything cheaper. A little bit of luxury never hurt anyone right?

So Bruges... It was good fun. I didn't do much sightseeing until Tuesday afternoon, when I went up the 366 steps of the Belfry Tower. Then I did a river boat cruise and finished off at a chocolate museum, and bought a chocolate pen at the gift shop.

What did I do in the meantime? Well... Saturday I got to the hostel, went to the bar and started chatting to these two Aussies. Turns out they were from Frankston, in fact South Frankston so probably less than 5 mins drive from Mum and Dad's (soon to be former) house. We went to a festival called Polé Polé down on the beach, ended up losing each other which was to be expected and turned out to be an adventure. With the last train back to Bruges having already left, what option did I have but to keep partying till the thing ended? So I ended up getting a bit hammered to say the least and ended up tagging along with a group of five or so Belgian girls. The dancing etc went until 5am and we then adjourned to a local bar where we stayed until daylight. Then a couple of the girls took me back to the train station to catch the first train. Unfortunately, I then fell asleep on the train and woke up in Tienen, which is about half an hour from here in Hasselt. Basically I slept two hours too far and was over an hour past Brussels, very amusing. So I caught the train back and finally hit the sack at about 1pm at which point a hideous hangover had already set in.

Sunday was a bit of a write-off as you might expect, although I did meet an American couple in my dorm who were quite nice, and we chatted about where we had been, where we were going, and small differences in Australian and American cultures, and differences between Europeans and Australians or Americans.

I kind of wasted Monday morning because my ipod needed charging and it was a good chance to read more of my book (Richie Benaud's My Spin On Cricket - if you like it when Richie starts crapping on about stuff then you'll enjoy the book. I love a good Richie story so I'm really getting into all his little anecdotes about Clarrie Grimmett and the like.)

Monday afternoon I did a brewery tour and chatted to another couple I had met along the way (Anna from Holland and Robert from Italy, they now live in Milan), then went back to the hostel and when happy hour started I chatted to the couple that had sat next to me and just arrived. They were Joel and Josefina from Finland and were great company. We had a bit of dinner and then started chatting to the girls who were sitting next to me on the other side, Gabi from South Africa and Emma from England. Eventually we went out for a couple of drinks, and while the night ended earlyish it was good fun and we resolved to meet up again the next night.

Tuesday I did the touristy things and then at around 6pm the five of us met up and started playing a drinking game. It was great fun and at one stage they decided to gang up on me and so it became a rule that every time someone else had to drink, so did I. After that finished we went out for cocktails, and again got back to the hostel for another reasonably early, however very enjoyable, evening. Just as well because I had to check out by 10:30am this morning...

It was a bit of a mission getting to the hotel here, only because my card wasn't working at the ATM at Bruges train station. So when I got off at Hasselt station, I walked up the road looking for an ATM as I had precisely ONE euro cent in my wallet. I couldn't find one and eventually did what I should have done to begin with, asked the taxi driver to take me past an ATM. So I got here and while it was a mission, at least it looks like the room will be worth the price I paid.

OK this has been a marathon and I have washing to do, so that's all for now...
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