Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I was feeling really REALLY tired now when I got to Antwerp...obviously i’m not a young pup anymore so I decided I’d try and have a quiet night. I was staying in a supercool hostel in the middle of the city. It was an old ex-Russian restaurant from the 1800's and hadn’t changed much, the staff were so crazy, friendly and really musically talented. There was this cool painting of Adam and Eve on the wall!

'Paddy' from brazil showed me to my room where there was an old, black grand piano where he started banging out rock and roll and blues tunes singing along at the top of his voice! That was a nice welcome to Antwerp. Although I was really tired I went for a walk around. Everyone staying at this hostel were really friendly folks, one little guy like to put an adjective with each item we had the 'suicide stairs' (quite rightly named) and the 'platform shower'. The stairs here were suicidal indeed 2 people fell down while I was having breakfast! The problem is they are narrow steps almost vertical, quite difficult with your backpack or after few beers but as I was so overtired I just found them hilarious. There was a great music and singing session at the hostel that night, I didn’t sleep much so decided to stay another night.....this night I would try and have an early one!!

After a battery-recharging stay in Antwerpe i hopped on the bus to Amsterdam how exciting!!


I had picked up a funny guide to Bruges in the hostel in Brussels and as I was so so tired I decided to go to the 'Frisbee and cute asses park' to catch some sleep. I had an hours sleep on the train so by the time I got to Bruges I had decided sleep was a waste of time and went for a wander. Wow beautiful city but after an hour or two there really doesn’t seem to be much dept to the main area than just fancy buildings and restaurants.

I sat on the steps of a building facing the main square and people watched while I waited for Wim the couchsurfer guy for tonight to get in touch. I noticed that the young local people were all like supermodels but the old ones where like an egg on legs, both men and women had beards...what happened??

By the time I met Wim I had lost the last of my energy, I was so happy not to be checking into a hostel but rather Wims really lovely house just on the outskirts of Bruges. Wim absolutely loves his really cool job of making exhibitions for example if you wanted something supercool for your nightclub opening he could make a crazy ice sculpture exhibition, design amazing lighting, furniture etc there’s nothing he cant try to create but most importantly he must stay at the party all night ...for work purposes of course! Wim cracked open a delicious bottle of red wine and we had a great chat, Wim explained he had a bit of a problem with crashing cars, and i was just waaaaay too embarassed to get into the banger he had right now, so we walked to a cool tourist-free bar somewhere in Bruges. More wine, wine and some more wine and I realised I had only eaten a waffle all day (i’m addicted!) so we had a little food, then more wine. While Wim had to get up at teh crack of dawn the next day I had a glorious bath wow heaven! Huge bathroom, sun was shining in and a great view of the river...from the bath! Ah yes this is the backpacker life I could become accustomed to. (thanks Wim!!)

Anyway must move on, Antwerp next stop


I arrived in Charleroi after 2 hours sleep the night before (damn something ALWAYS crops up before a flight!!) but how exciting tonight is my 1st time to couchsurf! I found a little fruit market and bought some delicious fresh figs and grapes for these guys. Sooo tired there’s no way I could get my French going, several people asked me for directions in French thank god I still had 'Je ne sais pas' in my head.....that was very useful in French class!

Anyway headed into Brussels and was followed by not 1 but 2 men chanting 'bella, bella, parlez vous francais he?' so I just strutted on confidently down to an even dodgier area but of course I 'knew' where I was going!!

I got the tram out of the city to a lovely posh area where I met Adrien and Lola both just finished acting school, my 1st couchsurfing hosts! Their flat was like a buddest shrine, they had travelled to India and loved it so much. I dumped my bag and Adrian took me out for a drive around the city.....crazy driver!! Speeding down a road stopping just an inch from a car and his really cute, little dog flying around the car at every corner!

Adrien filled me in on some great Brussels history like one building on the main square when it was completed the door had been built off centre to the rest of the building the architect was so ashamed he killed himself, I also touched THE lucky bronze dog, saw the pissing boy, and had a few Belgium waffles...delicious.

The next day I check in to Van Gough hostel in Brussels...wow like a hotel! I threw my bag into the locker and went to explore and eat. I had the most delicious fresh bread, olives, cheese and another waffle yum! I went to the music museum and from the top floor you have a great view of the city and it was a lovely sunny evening.

I walked around for another 4 hours or so until it was time to head to another couchsurfers house for dinner and drinks. Dorien is a reporter and just back from Israel where her and her friends, while in a detention centre being questioned, had to pretend they were beach bimbos to get into the country to do their reporting. The food was a little on the unpalatable side but we had so many chimay bleus that it didn’t matter after a while, we got some great 'girl chat' in it was like we had been friends for years. We went for a wander around Brussels, many of the building walls are covered with comic book paintings, the guy who created the Tin Tin comics was from Belgium, it really brightened up some dodgy areas. We stumbled (literally!) into a really cool art exhibition, trying not to knock it down the alcohol made the images even more effective. In the pub that night I had a conversation with a really drunk guy with just answering 'ah ya!', 'ya!', 'ya?', 'yaaaa' (yes in Dutch!) funny, silly.

I arrived back at the hostel circa 4am was handed my sheets for the bed which it was compulsory to pay E4 for, so although I was drunk and really overtired god damn I was making my bed! I had been allocated the worst bed in the house, top bunk, couldn’t find the ladder, damn I left my bag in the locker at reception, too tired, just made a little toga outfit kind of climbed onto the table then the closest bed then very ungracefully swung myself up onto the my bunk, then superman dived into the bed, asleep before my head hit the pillow....the cleaner came in then at 9am time to check out!

Like a zombie I headed for Bruges, couchsurfing again this night i'm sure ill get some sleep in then

travelling time at last!

Wow, how exciting travelling time at last! Thanks to a really horrible job I decided no more just settling for 'ok' time to really get living! I put on my little backpack and headed off to Spain with no plans, it was my first time to travel on my own and it turned out to be a really life changing trip! (thanks vero!)

Since I’ve come back life has been great, I surrounded myself with positive people, got out more, said Yes more, did some voluntary things and turned my hobby into a really enjoyable, paid job.

Unfortunately the travel bug has bitten BAD and I must leave behind my great job, great friends, family, boyfriend and bike... (yes, we spent a lot of time together!!) I’ts too early for me to settle down yet my goodness! Please do keep in touch and if it all gets too much come visit me somewhere!