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Archive for the ‘Eurotrip I’ Category

Home Sweet Delft

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

After Bruges, all that separated us from Delft were three more train connections, including another “impossible” connection in Ghent. Calling upon our skills learned on the way to Gimmelwald, we caught all three.

Eurotrip I officially ended once we made it back to the apartment on October 6. John and I spent nearly the entire time from Bruges to Delft reminiscing about our 11-day journey, and we both agree that it couldn’t have been much better.

Back in Holland.

Inspiring graffiti outside the Delft train station.

Bruges

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Before heading back to Delft, John and I decided to spend some time touring Belgium, specifically Bruges. A traveler from the Mountain Hostel recommended we pick up a free Use-It map and “use it” to find a Belgian pub called ‘t Brugs Beertje, where we could sample the best Belgian beers. After wandering around around Bruges and into the Béguinage (a nun community and UNESCO World Heritage Site), we finally got the map and found our pub. We spent the afternoon chatting with the local connoisseurs and ordering beers based on their recommendations.

After the pub we were craving some Belgian fries, so we checked out two fry stands that’ve been competing at the foot of the Bruges Belfry since 1896. In order to see which fry stand was better, John purchased fries smothered in stoverijsaus (hot meat sauce) from the stand on the right, and I purchased the same from the stand on the left. If you ever find yourself faced with the same decision, two out of two Bruges visitors agree that the fry stand on the right is superior!

Deeming the day another great success, we headed back to our hostel/hotel (‘t Keizershof) for a refreshing night of sleep.

Inside the Béguinage.

Sampling Belgian beer.

It felt good to not sleep in a tent or on a train.

The Church of Our Lady.

Cologne

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

After Oktoberfest, we caught a night train from Munich to Cologne, where we connected with our train to Belgium. Since the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is literally right outside the train station, we used our downtime to check out this impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The imposing Cologne Cathedral.

Inside the cathedral.

Oktoberfest – The People

Friday, November 30th, 2007

My series on Oktoberfest wouldn’t be complete without highlighting some of the people we met.

Renate was the best beer waitress anyone could ask for. Friendly, fast, and German. She signed Hofbräu coasters for us to commemorate our first day at Oktoberfest.

Christof, a German guy we met in the Hofbräu-Festzelt, taught us the lyrics to Ein Prosit.

Verena and I met in the Augustiner-Festhalle, and after a bet to see who could win the Hau den Lukas (the game where you use a mallet to hit the weight and ring the bell), we exchanged e-mails. We traded e-mails with lots of people, but Verena was the only person to e-mail back, and I’m very thankful she did! You’ll hear more about her after Eurotrip II – she visited the Netherlands, and we toured Delft, Den Haag, Brussels, and Amsterdam. By the way, she won the Hau den Lukas; I contribute that to her being Bavarian. 😉

Finally, Oktoberfest wouldn’t have been what it was without the countless others we met – they helped make it an incredible, unforgettable experience.

John and Renate.  Tent: Hofbräu-Festzelt.

Christof and John.  Tent: Hofbräu-Festzelt.

Verena at the biergarten wearing dirndl.  Photo courtesy of Verena.  (Thanks again!)

John and the two Germans who let us sit at their table.  Tent: Augustiner-Festhalle.

Another German, John, and me.  Tent: Augustiner-Festhalle.

Oktoberfest – The Rides

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

The rides at Oktoberfest are all temporary, but many of them could very easily be permanent fixtures at an amusement park. We rode the Toboggan and the StarFlyer.

The roller coaster at the end of one of the midways.

The StarFlyer.

Oktoberfest from the StarFlyer.

The Toboggan!  (The oldest and “most classic” ride of Oktoberfest.)

The ferris wheel (aka huge wheel).