This past summer I took an amazing trip to Europe with my two older sisters, Blair and Katherine. I have been to Europe one other time after my Senior graduation from high school. This trip was fast and furious… little sleep, lots of tours, a no drinking rule, and a strict itinerary. Needless to say, not my style. Although I was thankful for this trip, being with my sisters who are pros at navigating the backroads of Europe was an unforgettable experience. We visited Brussels, Munich, Vienna, and Budapest. Brussels, Belgium had an old-world atmosphere with beautiful architecture. Interestingly enough, they had the best asian food I have ever eaten, and I’m a huge asian food fan. I also have to give credit to Belgium for solidifying my love for beer. If you are a beer person you must visit Belgium.
On our first day in Brussels, we stopped at a cute little bakery for lunch. Being completely jet-lagged, we decided to take a two hour nap, max, that way we could realign our sleep schedules. 5 hours later… we woke up, crawled out of bed, and proceed to a fantastic asian restaurant, K.Touch. Our original plan was to go to a bar after dinner and have a beer than head back to our hostel. We met some other Americans who worked for the air force and could not divulge the reason of their stay in Belgium, so naturally we agreed to accompany them to Delirium Cafe for more Belgian beer! Once at the bar we met a flight attendant form Iceland who flew into Houston, Texas weekly and was sporting a way-to-tight cowboy getup with a western bolo tie. When I say tight, I mean jeggings tight, but he was so proud of the western look that he created all on his own. We appreciated his southern pride but decided he needed a proper name. My oldest sister Blair coined the name, Icelandia!
After about 5 beers we decided we needed a refill and headed towards the bar where we ran into a thin homeless guy, probably in his mid 20’s. He wore what looked like a snowboarding outfit and sported some stylish dreadlocks that were as long as Santa’s reindeer reigns. After that we continued to drink more beer and met all sorts of interesting characters, but we decided we should head home for some sleep. As we climbed the endless swirly staircase in our hostel and stumbled through our door, we noticed the sun creeping through our window. As we stuffed our faces with Hawaiian trailmix we checked the time… our phones read 5:00 am. I had never stayed up that late in my life before, but I guess there is a first time for everything!
The next morning we toured the city and did lots of sight seeing. I recommend seeing Mannekin Pis while enjoying a tasty Belgian waffle with your choice of any topping imaginable. The next day my oldest sister got sick and could not accompany Katherine and I on our day trip to Ghent. Katherine and I navigated our way on the trains to Ghent, which proved to be quite the challenge due to the lack of signs. This city is packed with history! We visited the Ghent castle which had rooms full of armor and weapons. The other rooms were full of prisoner chambers and disturbing torture devices. After seeing this, Katherine and I bounced around from pub to pub enjoying more awesome beer! This was a great way to end our stay in Belgium, the next day we were off to Munich, Germany!