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Archive for January, 2010

In Bruges

Yesterday we went with our art class to Bruges! It’s a small city just about an hour outside of Brussels (I slept on the train both ways :)). The city is sooooo old and romantic, and GORGEOUS! It snowed a little, but afterwards the sky was perfectly clear and blue! When it did snow, it didn’t snow flakes, they were chunks rather. I loved it! It was so much fun to play in, it looked like we were all wearing coats made out of snow, and that we had all aged 50 years with white hair.

We saw a couple museums, a church that has an original piece from Michelangelo, a “double church”, the town hall, the town square…everything! I think my favorite was the double church. It’s called a double church because there are essentially two separate churches in one. The first floor is for the peasants, or lower class people, and the top floor is for the noble people of the town. You can really tell the difference, the upstairs church has much more decoration, seating, and just all around more beautiful. The best part of this church is that they claim to have Jesus’ blood in a vial. There’s a priest that sits in front of the vial, and gives the public a chance to touch it and have a personal prayer with him. Of course, I touched the vial! I felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up… it was actually a very moving experience.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy Bruges, we are planning a trip in the spring so we can ride bikes around the entire city! A lot of rivers run through the town, and are mostly populated with swans. So that was cool, and picturesque. I can’t wait to go back, everyone NEEDS to go to Bruges!!! It’s so great ๐Ÿ™‚

J’adoreeee les frites!

Monday I started my internship, and I really like the location! I pass the Royal Palace, America Embassy, this HUGE awesome park, and so many other pretty buildings! The job — eh. Not to keen on it, really. But I’m still going to have a positive attitude about it, maybe I’ll switch later…maybe it will get better! We’ll see, no worries!

Tuesday we had our first class at Vesalius. It’s art history, and we get to go on a lot of trips ย — so I’m really excited! We’re going to Bruge next weekend…just for the day, but it should be really fun. Everyone raves about Bruge, so I’m glad I get to tick it off my list early!

Wednesday, we had our first night french class. We’re taking 4 sessions of it, and so far it was really fun! Our teacher never spoke English once, which yeah was hard but kind of a relief I feel like. I don’t know, I feel like Americans can get by almost anywhere, and it was like she was demanding we speak her language instead of ours. So it was cool, and I bet we actually learn quite a bit — even in just 4 sessions.

Thursday, we went to our weekly Cafe Belga. Soooo fun! It always gets so crowded but we manage to still find a table. I love that place sooooo much!

Today was the nicest it’s been here so far, I went for a run in Leopold Park, and watched some kids play soccer. It was really nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Real work starts tomorrow!

Friday was so fun, we had a school wide (Vesalius) organized pub crawl! We started off at a bar that’s ON our campus, called Kultuurkafe, and then went to Delirium, and then to O’Reilys. I think O’Reilys was my favorite, I can’t wait to go back! The upstairs was like a dance club…so that was fun! I also met a new Belgian friend that goes to my school as well, her name is Franzisca. I hung out with her and her friends all night, and I think we’re going to become friends — she lives pretty close! So hopefully she can show me where the REALLY cool places are!

Today we went to the fresh market up at Place Flagey! It was so fun. They had all kinds of fresh produce, FRESH OLIVES!!, fresh quiche, bread, cheese, meat, wine! EVERYTHING! We got a lot of yummy stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

My internship starts tomorrow, It’s about a 25 minute walk from my house. Not too bad! I’ll be walking with Bruns and a couple of other girls who have internships by mine too. So I’ll have people to walk there and home with, and maybe even go out to lunch with some days! I’m nervous to start, but my office is pretty small so hopefully I’ll get to know my employer really well, and get to do a lot of work.

I’m off to help make homemade mac and cheese. I’ll try to upload pictures later tonight!

Walking tour of the entire city

Yesterday we went on a walking tour of the entire city. Which…granted Brussels isn’t THAT large, but cobblestone, narrow, uphill/slanted sidewalks were bound to make it interesting. Ha! We walked from our apartment up to Place Flagey where we spend a lot of time, our favorite Irish Pub is there, Cat and I’s new favorite Cafe, Cafe Belga is there, the fresh market is there on Sundays, and a TON of fresh, very very good smelling bakeries and patisseries as well.

We then walked up to the main square, where a bunch of high end shopping is and the most beautiful church (the name escapes me at the moment) I’ve ever seen. It may even top Notre Dame in Paris. After that, Grand Place — probably the MOST BEAUTIFUL spot in Brussels. ahhh it’s so gorgeous. You just stand in the middle and do a slow 360 and try to pick your jaw up off the ground. There we ate “moulles et frites” (mussels and fries) at Chez Leon, a place that is highly recognized for the delicacy. It was very good, but I probably won’t eat them again except for on a special occasion.

We saw Mannekin Pis (a famous monument), it’s SO tiny!!! I was a bit disappointed with size, but still satisfied that I got to see what all the rave was about.

After all this, we went on a tour of European Parliament, and actually talked to a member from Latvia. It was quite interesting, and very cooly to see how the EU works. Gareth (our program director) took us for a drink at “Fat Boys” an American bar, decorated with vintage american sport paraphernalia — I even spotted a Kansas City Chiefs flag!!

Today we have our orientation at the school we’re attending, Vesalius College. Apparently we get a “buddy”, a student who attends regularly — should be interesting!

[PICTURES TO COME!!!!]

I’M HERE!

Well hello!

Today marks our third day in Brussels. Our apartment is in the basement of the building, but also the largest! We’re the only ones who have our own beds — which is nice!

Yesterday, we walked around and found a small cafe where Molly and I had Croque Monsieurs. Which is like a grilled cheese, but with ham and a million times tastier! After our late lunch, we walked around for about an hour and a half, and saw the EU and Leopold Park. The Park was my favorite, the trees were huge! Everyone was sledding in the park because it had snowed about 4 inches.

Last night, the girls upstairs made spaghetti for everyone last night. It was delicious! After dinner we went to a well known bar in Grand Place ย called Delirium…it has over 250 beers on tap..or something like that. Molly was drinking apple beer, a couple of our other friends had mango and cherry beer.

We woke up at 3 pm today…OOPS! I guess we’re still getting used to this time change! We have a meeting with all the others and our program director in our apartment. Should be fun! will update later ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow’s the day!!!

I can’t believe it’s here. I can’t believe tomorrow at 11:15 am begins my next (4 month) adventure!

and hopefully my visa has already begun it’s adventure to my house…and arrives here safely and in one piece by 8:30 tomorrow morning. I know i know, cuttin it close…always living on the edge. HA! Long story, short: Kat is the reason why I’m not having to pay extra money to get to Brussels on time (crossing my fingers). What a good sister.

I can’t wait to see my new home!!