Monday, December 3, 2012


Friday morning the alarm want off at 4:40am and I was out the door at 5:05 so Chelsea, Liz, Sarah and I could catch a bus to get to our pick up station before 6:05am. Once picked up we were off to Dover. We got to see the sunrise and that is always a beautiful thing. Once in Dover, we collected the rest of our tour group an our tour guide. Then our bus boarded the ferry and we got the chance to walk around as we sailed from Dover to Calais in France. We just had some breakfast and chatted away. 

Once in Calais it was back to the bus and we drove about 2.5 hours to Brussels. When we arrived it was super foggy so any picture opportunities were a little dismal. We checked into our hotel and we lee given some time to freshen up. The hotel was very European and swanky ;) Sarah and I shared a room and typical European style, the room has two twin beds, but they were pressed together, so it looked like one biiiig bed. 
We then met back up with our tour group and our guide took us on a small walking your of Brussels. We saw the Grand Palace, a gorgeous plaza with some intricate buildings. We saw a statue known to be one of the luckiest statues in the world. So of course, I made a wish regarding my impending post grad life, rubbed the knee and hoped for the best. We then were taken to the statue called Mannequin Piss, probably the most famous statue in Belgium. It is a statue of a little boy peeing....but the story is this boy peed on a cannon that put it out and protected Belgium from being bombed...

Anyways, we were also shown some Christmas markets and then left to explore for the night. After wandering a bit we settled on a restaurant that seemed cheap. Belgium is famous for its beers and I am not a huge beer drinker, but I wanted to experiment. The cool thing in Belgium is every beer has a specific glass. One beer, Kwak, has a cup with a rounded bottom, so you can never set the cup down. I did enjoy my beer because it had a smooth aftertaste. After dinner we just walked back to the hotel to pass out because we were exhausted from the long day. 
Grand Palace
Saturday we had breakfast at the hotel. I mention this because this hotel had the best breakfast I've had a hotel. Eggs, pastries, beans, mushrooms, the freshest fruit, potatoes, smoothies, cereal, yogurt. Now I didn't have all that, but it was a treat. We then boarded the bus and headed to Aachen in Germany. We drove there via the Netherlands, so in two days, I was in 5 countries ;) 
We were given 4 hours in Aachen to explore the Christmas markets there. The smells and sights were beautiful. Aachen also has the oldest church in Europe. The booths were adorable and the area smelled like Christmas =) There were so many stands selling gingerbread and it was delicious! Aachen was gorgeous, but also cold. At 4 we headed back to Brussels and were back around 6:15. We chose to go a steakhouse right next to the hotel because it was cold and we didn't feel like wandering too far. Dinner was nice and relaxing. 

Sunday morning we woke up and it was snowing!!! Such a beautiful treat! We enjoyed another delicious breakfast and then loaded out bags in the bus but by then the snow had stopped and the sky was clearing :/ we were given until 2pm to explore Brussels. We decided to check out all the Christmas markets an do some gift buying. We also saw the Grand Palace in the day time and it was just as beautiful. We finally went and got what we were most excited for - Belgian waffles!! My friends got chocolate and fruit but I got speculoos and banana. Speculoos is basically cookie butter from trader joes. Omg. It was heaven. Even the waffle by itself was incredible. After sitting, letting out waffles settle and taking advantage of the free wifi, we headed back and boarded the bus for home. On the way back to Calais we stopped at a chocolate factory! We ha all held off buying chocolate in Brussels because we were told we would be going to this factory. However, I'm bummed we did. The chocolate shops in brussels were beautiful and this factory had chocolates that just looked like they had been sitting on the shells for tooo long. It was a bit disappointing, but nothing too tragic. Back to Calais, back on the ferry to Dover, back to beautiful perfect London. 


We got in a bit after 10 which was waaaay later than we were expecting and I still had some work to finish for class on Monday, but all is good. When you come home to London, you can't complain 

This is my last week of class for 2 classes and the rest are done next week. 
Sad. Facts. 

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