Monday, September 10, 2012


July 9, 2012

Three other exchange students (Anna, Michelle, Brendon) and I travelled to Brussels this past weekend. I'm a bit sleepy today since I didn't arrive back at my apartment until 5am this morning (we ran into train delays and cancellations on the way home). 
Brussels has a very different feel from Hamburg. It is a mix of edgy modern cityscape and touristy old city roads. Our trip felt a bit like a Brussels checklist: we of course consumed gratuitous amounts of chocolate, waffle, and beer; we saw the peeing boy fountain and world's fair ball sculpture. Our earlier trip to Berlin felt a little more organic and spontaneous.
I left Brussels with the impression that the tourist's Brussels and the resident's Brussels are very distinct.
On Sunday, we took a train an hour outside of Brussels to Bruges. Bruges is very beautiful. Cobble stone roads pass over canals and squeeze between medieval towers. The old architecture houses alternating waffle, chocolate, souvenir, and lace shops (lace shops are a thing apparently). Anna, Michelle, Brendon, and I strolled through town, stopping constantly for photos and occasionally for more waffles. It was a more leisurely pace than Saturday, and I enjoyed the day more.
Being in Belgium brought to my attention how much I don't know any French. I'd like to learn some before I travel to France in August.

- Tom Giordano

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