My Belgium Christmas
Trip Start Dec 27, 2010
54Trip End Ongoing
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So in nepal i met a girl called Daisy who thought it was completely tragic, that my plan was to be on a plane on christmas day. So with little convincing my flight was changed from Kathmandu London to Kathmandu to brussels a few days earlier. And fter a delayed flight from Kathmandu to Delhi and then flight from Delhi to Heathrow and been detained at Heathrow airport by customs for a while because they were suspicious of me! Then staying in a shelter outside the airport because nobody was allowed in the airport until there flight was ready for calling because of all the cancelled flights Due to snow. Then another delayed flight into Brussels because of the weather and then waited 5 hours for my luggage to come.. . because of the weather. Finally arrived to be met at the airport by Daisy. Then a couple of hours drive from Brussels airport to her town, Poperinge. The next day was Christmas eve, in Belgium they celebrate Christmas as a family on Christmas eve they give presents and have dinner. It was very nice. The next day Christmas day spent visiting family and friends. In the evening we went to Ieper. Ieper is quite a historic site from WWI where many battles took place. There is a large tunnel memorial with all the names of the soldiers and every night of the year at 8pm people gather under the bridge and they sound the trumpets and do a "last post" memorial to remember the soldiers. Daisy and I went iceskating by the Christmas markets. It was nice to celebrate Christmas tree with snow and a real Christmas tree. But still missed the sun the beach and everyone back home very much!
But the food is great in Belgium, typical breakfast = cecemel (chocolate milk), chocolate spread on bread and chocolate and Belgium chocolate of course. lethal but satisfying.
We took a train one day to the beautiful city of Brugge for some shopping, chocolate and exploring.. Daisy's mum prepared cows tongue for me that night.. first it had to be soaked in salty water for a couple of days to get rid of all the saliva. A couple of days later it was ready cooked with tomato sauce and mushrooms and a side of mashed potatoes… mmmm… no really… mmmm J
Another day Dirk, Daisy’s dad took us to visit the biggest war cemetery. It is located on a battle field from the war and full of the bodies of soldiers from all over the world. We also went to the beer museum, each town in Belgium has their own local beer. Poperinge’s is Hommel beer. So we visited the museum and enjoyed a beer after. Then he took us to see his old timer in the warehouse which he just finished restoring. Her dad works driving a digger for road construction and very often they are finding bodies, guns etc from the war. In their home they have a gun form a german soldier from WWI and as a gift he gave me a bullet also from WWI.
Daisy, Sophie (Daisys cousin) and I also went to visit the indoor ski field one day. All of us amatuers… it was defiantly funny! We celebrated new year with dinner in Daisy’s home with her parents and some close friends, we had fondue and then put on our costumes ready for the Moulin Rouge Party! New years day, is more celebrated then Christmas day. New years day was a big day of visiting all different family… coffee… coffee..chocolate…chocolate…and traditional new years biscuits.
Daisy’s town is quite small and everyone knows everyone and there not quite used to tourists and it isn’t every day they met people from Australia. They people were so welcoming and happy to talk to me and feed me chocolates and different types of Belgium beers, I didn’t complain but it was probably the first time in my life that I started to turn down chocolate!! One day we were sitting in a café talking to her aunt and talking about how I was going to fly to Italy to apply for my UK visa and visit family. Daisy’s mum Vivien made a joke about catching a ride in a truck. Before I knew it Daisy’s uncle, a truck driver had made a phone call to his friend Barry who often drives that way, and voila he leaves start of January and goes straight through Vasto where my family is. Perfect. But after a few days there is a change of plans and he goes to Morrocco first and through Greece then back to Italy, but I’m still welcome to join... I say why not!
Another day Daisy and I got the train to Brussels and visited the grand place, Menneka pis and the grand place and historic building we also went on a mission to find the less visited, caged, Janneke pis, squatting down a smelly alley way. We also visited the attonium and finished the day with Belgium waffles!
That night I cooked lasagne for Daisy’s family as a farewell and thankyou, I also cooked an extra lasagne for me and Barry on the road J. So armed with my backpack, some lasagne and some Belgium beer and chocolate for the road we made our way to the shell service station the ”meeting point” for my next adventure. So after a teary goodbye a HONKKKKKK HONKKKKK and a moooo from the 33 cows he was driving we were on the road….
P.s A big Thankyou to Daisy, Vivien and Dirk for having me and for such a great time, will never forget you guys and your kindness. x