Friday, February 11, 2011

Brussels and Amsterdam

Brussels and Amsterdam  blog
Alrighty! I have so much to tell you about this city!
It is located in Belgium and is known as the capital of Europe- people  
all over the world come here to do political and business-minded work-  
they speak French and Dutch- and basically anything to be understood.  
46% of Brusseleirs are foreiners. So! Things are often written in  
French and Dutch.
Anyways- we got in late last night- making it in about 2 and a 1/2  
hours from Paris and it was super late- we had like 30 minutes to get  
on to a metro ( subway system) and get to our hostel. So off we went!  
First odd thing that happened was when I tried to go down the  
escalator- obviously this city cares about saving energy because they  
have sensors on them and only turn on when someone is on them- in this  
case me. Haha.
After we get to our destination, we tried to sleep in the most  
noisiest hostel I've ever been in! Seriously- it was loud till about 2  
The next day started early- got up about 7 or so, had a great  
breakfast and we started walking throughout the city. Our first stop  
was a HUGE flea market that starts at 6 am and ends at 2pm, I loved  
it! Reminds me of the old days in California- I bargained for a pipe  
(a gift for someone) and a beer glass. The square was filled with  
mostly middle-aged to older men selling their junk and wanting you to  
buy anything-bargaining is really easy once you get the hang of it- if  
you really want something-
  1. ask how much it is, 2. Pretend like it's too much with a look of  
disgust on your face, 3. Walk away, 4. Reconsider when the seller  
starts offering half the price :)
Next stoo after that was a bakery- where I found something like a  
cupcake- and it was really good. I'm gonna get so fat eating over  
here- thank God I walk everywhere!
Anyways, we hit up a museum lobby/giftshop, I got a small art book and  
then made our way to the Brussels exposition- an artistic, informative  
thing about the city. Pretty cool.
We then went to the library- the 5th floor is a cafeteria and an  
amazing view as well! Oh and did I mention having a street waffel  
beforhand- yes they are the best- they claim to have four types:
1. Brussels waffel- with sugar on top
2. Street waffel- with sugar inside
3. Tourist waffel- extra toppings
4. Extreme tourist waffel- just silly
So we had our street waffel:)
The rest of the day consisted of visiting art expo's, vintage stores,  
kebab street (where there are like 10 Greek food vendors competing for  
your service), great views, mannekin pis, chocolate buying and eating,  
and visit to the atomium- a huge atom. Really huge- see below.
At about seven or so we headed to the train station to catch a train  
to Amsterdam only to find out it was, we waited for the  
next train which left in another hour. Our little break time consisted  
of me jogging around the station (just one lap haha) and eating  
chocolate-hazelnut spread with crackers and drinking a homemade mocha-  
instant coffee with hot chocolate powder.:)
A note about the food here:
No hydrogenated oils (unless it's imported from America- which ticks  
me off, bit that's a different story), I can drink milk here without  
feeling sick! Not that I do all the time, but I won't say no to a  
cappucino an it actually tastes different and GOOD. No offense to  
American cows or people that drink milk, but it is soo good here. Back  
when America was adding hormones to their milk, Europe did not allow  
the hormone into their continent, they forbade it. 
Anyways. We made it to Amsterdam, and made our way to the hostel- this  
time it was a christian hostel- which was awesome- right when we got  
there they were about to have a bible study and we joined in just in  
time! There was an Australian, a Londonite, and another American that  
worked there. We read Psalm 27- and had a discussion about fear (you  
should read it too). Good stuff- God I love David.
Anyways- the next morning we got up, had some food and off we went!
Took a walk down some cute shopping areas- found cupcakes and coffee  
then walked over to the Anne Frank house!
About this house- it is a must do in Amsterdam- if you care about  
history. Anne Frank was a Jew and kept a journal about being in hiding  
and her life. The house was the actual place where they hid out! We  
got to walk in their rooms, learn about their conditions, who helped  
them, etc...
Please read about it more here: 
Oh and side note- if you are emotional, an easy crier, and immerse  
yourself in the history bring lots of tissues with you! It is so  
intense. I don't know how I'm goin to survive visiting Auschwitz....
Afterward we stepped outside into the first rain of our trip, a light  
drizzle and definitely not prepared for it- I wore my pea coat that  
got absolutely drenched- especially after our bike ride in the rain.  
We rented some and roads throughout the city- not gonna lie- it was  
quite a scary ride- especially since it was raining and rush hour. But  
we survived and just follwed other bikers heading in the same  
direction, hehe.
On our way back to the hostel we stopped by 'The Tabernacle'- a Youth  
With A Mission worship and prayer place right in the heart of the red  
light district. The tabernacle is just a room with daily worship and  
prayer sessions- we dropped in, had some quiet time with Jesus as  
music played in the background.
God is awesome. So awesome. If you don't know Him you are missing out-  
but if you want to know Him- just ask Him- I guarentee He will meet  
you where you're at!
Afterwards we headed back to the hostel just in time for another Bible  
study and discussion- met some great people- this girl is studying in  
Florence, Italy and she said she has an extra bed whenwe go down  
there! And she might come to Greece with us, so that should be fun!  
Can't wait for Italy and Greece. So excited.
What am I doing right now? Listening to Damien Rice and riding to  
Germany....I'll tell you where later;)
Oh and side note for Brenton- we will unfortunately not be going into  
Hamburg for a hamburger, BUT we promise to eat one in Berlin! Can you  
ever forgive us?
Miss everyone!!
And my beautiful cat, QT.

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