Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ah Belgium. Currently sitting in the kitchen with a Sinatra record on while Marsh and Amber cook brunch. We're staying at her grandparents place (giant, old european condo right in the middle of Brussels). Every window is huge and pulls open, and right now a nice breeze is blowing in.

Actually, here is a pic we took last night of Marsh and I sitting in that exact window.

We apologize for the delay in posting another blog update. These past several days have been crazy with lots of traveling. But I guess that just means we've got a lot to say. So ima say it now.

Dublin was awesome. The hostel we stayed at was super cool and really social. It's been awesome to be able to just check in, introduce ourselves to a few people, and then have friends for the rest of our stay that we can go see the sights with (and go out with at night as well). Our second night we did a pub crawl which was a blast. We met a ton of cool people and saw several Irish pubs that weren't the touristy packed ones we'd been in the night before in Temple Bar. It was a good night.

Oh, and Marshall and I represented our country in a beer pong match against our Irish pub crawl guides.
It was an intense match. Down to one cup each. And then Marshall blew it. The ping pong ball bounced off his chest and into our last cup. We lost it. Our country lost it. Thanks Marsh.

Just a quick story: The next morning a guy from our room comes up and tells me that Marshall has met a few girls from Portland and is talking to them downstairs. Crazy. So I head down and I totally knew one them (shout out to Nalina and props if you are reading this). Small world.

We took a bus through the Irish country side to Galway. I'm convinced the stereo type of how much the Irish drink isn't just that, because every little Irish town we'd drive through had more pubs than it did houses.

Galway was much different than Dublin, but in a great way. It had much more of the small town Irish feel with a cool strip of old pubs next to what was called the 'Spanish Arches'. The first night we found this pub called 'The Quays' which was huge (and old; opened around 300 years ago) and had traditional Irish tunes. Plenty of dancing and pints of Guiness later it had been a good night.

We took a bus out to the Cliffs of Moher while in Galway. AMAZING. Seriously breathtaking. Pictures won't do it justice, but here are a couple anyway.

Marshall and I are also going to be submitting a couple pictures to the Blazer's 'Wear in the World' photo contest. We think we've got a good shot. (no pun intended)

Also, it should be noted that although there was a sign that we were not supposed to cross a certain point on the cliffs, we did anyway. (Its where all the best views were).

Here is Marshall clearly breaking the rules.

Matter of fact, here is some 80 year old woman clearly breaking the rules.

The tour showed us ruins of castles sporatically appearing throughout the country side, old monasteries, and ruins of tombs older than Stonehenge.

A couple planes later we were in Amsterdam. At around 11pm we take a train to the central station and then a tram to the leidseplein, and as the doors open I can tell i'm already going to love this place. The plaza is packed with tables packed with people and the bars are overflowing. Music is loud and everyone is having a great time. Everything stays open till like 3 in the morning.

Our hostel 'the flying pig' was off the hook. The reception desk was downstairs in the basement (coincidentally, the same area as the bar). MGMT was on, the place was alive, and we didn't take long to order our first drink and take advantage of all the city has to offer.

The next day we walked through the town to Anne Frank's house as well as hit up the Van Gough museum (literally around 100 of his paintings..unreal).

Amsterdam is a gorgeous city with canals ruining through most of it. One of the coolest we've been to thus far.

Our friend Amber met up with us our last night there and then we drove to her hometown of Brussels yesterday. We went to the La Grande Place, a huge plaza with some of the most regal buildings i've ever seen.

Also, big thanks to Amber for buying Marshall and I our first Belgian waffles, the majority of which got all over my face.

We went to a couple different clubs last night and will be hitting up another one tonight (as well as possibly a friend of Amber's pool party?). We're looking forward to a good time.

Next stop: Interlaken, Switzerland.

P.S. Sorry we have no photos of Hamilton to share this entry. He got a temporary job as a boat driver through the Amsterdam canals, but should be joining up with us again shortly.

--what up marshall.

Words cannot describe how much I loved the pub scene in Dublin. It was exactly the atmosphere I enjoy, exactly the kind of music I enjoy, and everyone is always in a good mood. While keeping up with our pub crawl group I got to know a few of the other crawlers fairly well and specifically had some great conversations with some girls from Lichtenstein and Germany. My German is no where near what it used to be, but a few pubs into the crawl and I was convinced I spoke more fluently than the girls. I embarrassed myself.

While in Galway we got to experience a much smaller town feel. Not as many bars as compared to Dublin, but still probably 4 times more than in all of Corvallis. The hostel was definitely worth only the 8 euro we spent on it but we met some more interesting people, although I'm really missing my Florida buddies (keep it real Kelly and Katie).

Before the pub crawl, Andrew grabbed a guitar from the hostel and we went downstairs with a few of the girls we had the pleasure of getting to know while in Dublin. Hearts were melted right before my eyes and then the drinking began!

There have been many opportunities to listen to music while traveling, my favorites have been in the bars in Dublin though. Munich will be filled with music since it's considered one of the rock hubs of Europe, but until then I have enjoyed the Celtic music and look forward to hearing the mandolins sing to me as I eat pasta in Italy.

Amsterdam was...great. Insane atmosphere, beautiful buildings, great public transportation, cool museums. But in the words of Forrest Gump: "and that's all I have to say about that".

Now, as we enjoy our temporary palace in Brussels, I really get time to sit back and relax. We made a great breakfast today with hashbrowns and eggs and croissants. This pretty much kicks our previous breakfast's asses because the times that we've even been lucky enough to wake up on time (sans alarm clock) breakfast tends to consist of toast and jam and gross instant coffee.

(drinking and biking, legal in Belgium)

I have experience so much since this trip began but so much of it is hard to put into words right now. Andrew and I have seen some crazy shizz and I've been meeting people that I hope I keep in contact with. If anyone gets a chance, ask Andrew about his kitty we found in Galway. Today we are off to explore Brussels some more and hopefully get some more great Belgian beer. Yesterday we went to Delerium Cafe with Amber, they have the most beers available for sale at one time, 2004 beers. Holy catfish, batman.

-Kennedy: out.

1 comment:

  1. ahhh, you have been picking GREAT places to go! props to whoever planned the itinerary!