Hi everyone! Hope all is well with you all.
Today, we took a group day trip to Bruges, which was really cool. We took an hour long train ride from Brussels to Bruges. Bruges is a small town about an hours train ride away from Brussels to the north, which means that it is part of Flanders, where primarily Flemish and Dutch are spoken. Bruges is famous because it is a very old town, dating back to medieval times, and for the fact that it is one of the oldest towns which was not hit by any bombs during both World Wars. All the buildings are really neat architecturally and because they are so old. There are a series of canals running through the town, making Bruges kind of like a Northern European version of Venice.
When we got into the train station, we walked up to the city center. When we got there, we walked out onto the Grand Markt, which is basically like the center of town in most European towns, although it depends by where you are what they are called. It's usually the center of town. One of the sides was a city hall which was centuries old with a belfort (bell tower). Some of us decided to climb up the bell tower, which was about 330 stairs. From the top, we got a great view of the whole town of Bruges. Once we had climbed down the spiraling staircase, Dr. Kreppel gave us an hour to explore the city. I just meandered down the streets and looked into some shops along the way. Afterwards, we met up again and all went to lunch together. We ate at an Italian restaurant and since the whole excursion was covered in our fees, we didn't have to pay for anything out of pocket. The food was very good and I ate almost my entire pizza and then our table split some tiramisu (sp?) and ice cream. After lunch, we went on a boat ride through all the canals, which was really neat because it gave you a whole different perspective of the town. We passed a lot of really neat, old buildings.
After, the boat ride, we headed back home to Brussels. While we were at the train station, we went ahead and bought our train tickets for next weekend, when we plan to go to Amsterdam. We are planning to travel quite a bit while we are here, going to Amsterdam, Paris, Dublin, and possibly either London or Madrid, all of which should be really fun. So, if anyone has any tips on any of these places, let me know!
Tomorrow is our first actual day of having nothing required of us. I'm planning on going out and doing at least some sightseeing tomorrow, hopefully if I don't have too much homework to do. I'll update you and I'm planning on posting pictures at some point in the near future.
Got to go for now. Love to all!