Saturday, April 16, 2005

Den Hagge, Gouda, Netherlands

Today was another pretty decent day. Got up early around 6:30, showered and then packed to head out of Brugge. Liz and I scarfed down a breakfast at 7:30 then made the bus at 7:43 then made it to the train station in time for our 8:00 train. The best part was, I had time to stop at the information desk and fulfill a lifelong dream of reading a Belgian phonebook. (yes, I'm serious) I got the Brugge one and looked under Claeys and there was like an entire page of us!! Must've been at least a good hundred if not more for the area. I was so stoked. :-D I'm not rare here! Oh, that reminds me- like everyone in Belgium is blond haired, blue eyed like me too. I love this place, I don't want to go, hehe. :) But, we did around 8 and headed three hours east to Den Hagge, or The Hague in Netherlands. We didn't really intend to visit it much, but we were just spending the night there. So we found the hostel easily once the train got in late around 11:30 and checked in with the nicest lady ever at the desk. :) Then we headed out and decided that we should venture and go see the North Sea since it was nearby. The Hague is a harbour industrial city so its on the water. I didn't think it was too far of a walk according to the map, so we went out. Oh, and it was raining a lot today and pretty heavy, so that kinda sucked, but we had an umbrella. It seems to rain every day in Europe in the spring which is rather sad, but whatever. So, we ended up taking an initial wrong turn and ended up in a gross industrial area, then wandered back some more looking for food for lunch but everything was businesses and then suddenly we found the older touristy area and found the most clutch lunch ever. It was warm, cheap, good Chinese! I was so stoked and it hit the spot after being cold and wet. :-D So that was great and then we continued the adventure towards the North Sea. After awhile of walking I was tired and looked at the map only to realize we hadn't made it halfway yet. So we decided to be un-cheap and just take the stinkin tram to it, which we did. It was very cool to see and the beach "town" built all around of it was fun and touristy too. We walked the beach in the wind in the rain but it wasn't too bad. I liked it. Got back on the tram and took it to the train station where we headed out of town around 3:00. We went over to another town called Gouda as we had origially planned to do. We got to Gouda about 3:45 and it was a lot bigger than I had envisioned. At first I was kinda down on it, but then it ended up being pretty cool. We spent the afternoon wandering about it and checking stuff out. Like Brugge, there were also many canals running about the town which were pretty. The buildings and squares were also pretty cool and there were tons of small shops around. Oh, and it stopped raining all afternoon which was wonderful. :) The highlight of the afternoon was early on when we went in an awesome cheese shop and bought a massive kilogram chunk of cheese for not too much money. :) Liz and I took it to a bench near a pretty canal and sunk our teeth into its glory. I think its the best cheese I've ever had. It is so good and soft and tasty. Oh so good, I want some now! :) Plus, the feeling of sinking your teeth into a huge chunk of cheese is oh so satisfying. :P We ate a bit of it and enjoyed every moment of it. :) Another funny highlight was showing up to a big church I really wanted to go in about an hour and a half after it closed, trying the door anyways and finding it open, but upon going in, getting confronted by a sorta priest-looking guy who was nice but in a hurry and kicked me out anyways. :-P At least I got to see it for like 20 seconds and it was magnificent! hehe Well, anyhow, the evening wandered on and because it was so light all the time here, it got late quick and all of a sudden it was 7 and we wanted to eat at this great place but it was completely full of people and reserved and stuff so we waited for it a bit but then gave up in the essence of time. Decided to go back to The Hague and got on the 8:00 train. Got back around 8:45, then went to dinner at a small Indian place across from the station. It was pretty good and cheap and fun to eat there. :) Got done with dinner and back in the hostel by 10. Liz went to bed and I came down to the common room to work on my computer and stuff. I'll probably spend some time now doing my pictures so I don't have to worry about that, then I'll get to bed a little later. :)

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