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October 15, 2006

Visiting Brussels

The Travel Channel

This weekend was the annual company fall-excursion, but I was instead going to back to Belgium to visit my girlfriend Carina. Most of the others left the office for the excursion just after lunch on Friday, so there were only a few people besides me there for the rest of the day. However we still managed to gather a small group to have a game of CX Darts, a weekly dart-competition with bottles of wine for the winners, and with so few contestants it was 50/50 odds, so I managed to take home a bottle before having to catch my flight to Brussels.

I've always enjoyed reading when I'm out traveling, but recently I have switched to watching movies on my laptop instead. However as I will be visiting Carina in Brussels quite often and it would only be an unnecessary hassle to bring my laptop along every time. Instead I found these flights to be a perfect place to do the reading that I never have time for otherwise, so I'm going to bring a new book for every trip. For my first book I ended up getting Isaac Asimovs "Foundation", the first of a series comparable only to Frank Herberts magnificent Dune chronicles, and the grand story certainly didn't disappoint. The rest of the series is defiantly a must-read for me!

After arrival Carina and I went straight to the store so that I could stock up on beer, chocolate and other Belgian goodies to bring home with me. I picked up a decent selection of everything and filled my suitcase to the brim before going to bed early as I was quite tired both from working and the journey.
Since my sister is only staying in the Netherlands until November we decided to go visit her in Rotterdam right away while we still had the chance, so Saturday morning Carina and I caught a northbound train to a city quite different from Brussels. Rotterdam is a very a modern city of commerce, dominated by its harbor and canals, but still with quite a bit of soul in it. We walked around downtown for several hours and also visited the Euromast, a 185m tower on the Rotterdam waterfront that provides an amazing view of the city. Afterwards we headed over to see the Norwegian Seamens-church, and then for lunch we bought a dutch specialty; fries with mayo and curry-ketchup that was just amazing!
Then in the afternoon we went back to Brussels where we met up with a bunch of Carina's friends at a party, from which we shortly thereafter left to go to a pitta-place downtown for some food while waiting for the others to get there. When everyone was back together we headed over to the Sphinx and then onwards to the Havana club, but it beeing a saturday night it was really crowded everywhere, so Carina and I didn't stay long before going back to Ixelles to get some food and then head home and to bed.

On Sunday we headed back to Chao to have another great viet-thai lunch/dinner, before going for a long walk around Ixelles, checking out what shops could be found nearby and also visiting the magnificent Ixelles cemetery. In the afternoon we headed downtown to walk around Grand Place again, where we also got ourselves a fresh chocolate covered Belgian waffle each, which for a waffle lover like me is the top of enjoyment. There we also had to say goodbye as I had to once again catch the airport-train to go back to Norway... I really would have liked to stay..

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