Monday, December 20


So blogging is harder that I thought- It is hard to get motivated to actually sit down, start writing about myself and THEN perhaps edit the post. This one will be a bit more edited becauce I have alot to say. So grab a snack, sit back and enjoy!

Since Spain is the country of holidays, I had about a week away from work to celebrate the Spanish Constitution and La Inmaculada Concepcion. Then I took Thursday off and traveled with Amy from Geneva, Switzerland up to Brussels. We started off visiting my Uni friend Steph and her family near Geneva, then go from there.

It was good thing that we didnt make any plans (i.e. book hostels, buy train tickets) because the Spanish airtraffic controllers decided to go on strike at 5pm on Friday. No one knew about this before it happened and if our plane hadnt gotten delayed because of the snow, we would have made it. We made it on the plane at 4pm, got our seats, I took a nap, then Madrid's air space closed, then Barcelona's, so the pilot tried to find an alternative route, couldn't in time and then everything closed. So Amy and I were delayed about 42 hours. On the bright side: we got to spend a night in a brand new 5 Star Hotel in Malaga, free dinner and then finally got a plane to Geneva at the crack of dawn on Sunday.

So we finally got to Geneva, had our first of many hot wine, ate fondue, ate more yummy food (Thanks Steph's fam!), saw some Xmas markets, saw Julius Caesar and some other stuff.

We also got to get "educated," or attempted to, at CERN. While we missed the tour since it was in the morning, we got to go through their exhibit and I taught the front desk man a new "Caitlin English" word.

THEN, on Tuesday (I think), we took the train to Strasbourg, France, stayed with an amazing couchsurfer, ate french food, the french ATM ate my US bank card and my Spanish bank card doesnt work outside of Spain, so thus no money. Pero, no pasa nada, Amy was kind enough to lend me some money until we got to Brussels and I picked up my wired money! But reminder all: Do not post Western Union numbers on facebook!

Nativity Scene in Strasbourg Catherdral
In Brussels we got to relax a bit: despite missing our first train to Brussels, we caught a later one and didnt have to pay for a new ticket! Yay! We arrived in Brussels Nord at 10:33pm, got to walk through the Red Light District (the ladies in the posters there wore HUGE underwear, like granny panties times 134), and made it to our hostel before they closed at 11pm! Success again! After a night of weird dreams, a 3am arrival, and so one, I got my free coffee and Amy and I headed to Brugge for our first sunny day in a while. I forgot my camera, so you will have to stalk her photos.

Brugge was wonderful: tasty onion soup, lots of beer, sunshine and medieval pretty buildings. We went on a Brewery tour of De Halve Maan. I highly recommend it if you are in the area! 5.50 euro gets you a drink, a nice tour of one of the oldest running breweries in Belgium, and an awesome view of the city (the tour guide was fun too!). You could pay 4 euro to go up to the other tower in the town for their view- but would have you laughs and beer? NO! So go!

Ok time to wrap this up: in Brussels, Amy and I stayed with another couchsurfer there. And despite my failing at phones, we were able to finally find him! That night we had a mini tour of the old town, saw the female version of the Mannikin Piss, went to a bar that had over 2000 beers (Heaven!), ate some traditional Brussels late night food, played on public art and then passed out after much talking. The next day was about the same (as in drinking beer and hot wine), except we went to a flea market, ate some Ethiopian food (yummmmmmy), and went to a Natural History Museum. At this site, it used to be a zoo in the late 1800s but the zoo went bankrupt and all the animals died. So now it is a museum full of stuffed animals and some dino bones! One weird thing about it, was that after all the school groups left, Amy and I were the only ones in it except for the gallery supervisors (they reminded me of you, Molly!).

Overall, despite some minor set backs, I really enjoyed my Puente vacation. Someday, I hope to live in Brussels- it reminded me about London, I like the food and I find Dutch hilarious and want to learn it! Someday! Now I must work on my Spanish grammar... eek.


  1. So glad that the whole world can always be connected back to the Science Museum. :-/
    Also, you went to BRUGES?! Have you seen "In Bruges"? Fantastic film, I highly recommend it, and I've been wanting to visit ever since. SO JEALOUS.

  2. Spain is one of my target to spend my Christmas vacation.

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