I am sure you guys must have already read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series, right? (I mean that’s the reason you’re reading Part 3, no!!!) We now talk about Belgium.
Guy #1 wanted to visit a couple of more places and the workaholic had well, work. So it was just girl #3 and me. Guy #2 in Netherlands helped us in booking our bus tickets for the next morning and we managed to book a hostel room in Antwerp. It took us quite a while (or so we thought) to drag our bags in the rain, hold the flimsy umbrellas and fight with the barriers in the station prompting people to take pity on us and free us from our misery with the help of their pass (a Benedict Cumberbatch look alike helped me. It was love).
We finally made it 15 mins before the bus had to leave and caught our breath. Yaaaaassss! The bus had wifi. As slow as the one you get in malls here but wifi in a bus nonetheless. We reached Brussels, Belgium in about 2 hrs. We bought our tickets for Bruges and then for Antwerp, had a nice lunch and headed for the train which by the way was super comfortable.
We reached Bruges by afternoon and managed to cover the entire city in 3.5 hrs on foot. We also managed to see Michelangelo’s Madonna, the only sculpture of his of Italy. After a long day of just walking around we boarded the train for Antwerp. Another tip- When staying in a hostel, always make a note of the last check in time and find out how you can enter in case you don’t make it by then. We reached Antwerp and once again dragged our bags all the way to the hostel which we could not find and subsequently got lost.
When we finally reached the hostel it was 9:15 PM and the last check in was at 8 PM. With growing panic in the increasing rain, we somehow managed to contact an emergency number who told us they had our key kept in the letterbox. Whew! When we reached in we realized that the staircase was so narrow (TILL. THE. SECOND. FLOOR.) that our bags could fit facing only sideways and the steps were so thin that our foot couldn’t fit on them. We somehow managed to carry them upstairs and then plotted our suicide. The hostel was extremely comfortable with free wifi and free breakfast the next day.
We had our fill, dumped our bags at the station lockers and explored the city and went to the famous Statue of Brabo. One more tip- Authentic Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolates (especially the liquor ones) are the best. FYI, the Central Station is also a historical landmark. After seeing the entire city, or at least the main parts, we headed back to the station to meet guy #2 and trash his place. The train journey to Netherlands is another story altogether.
Girl #3 and I boarded the train. It was quite an uneventful journey if you don’t count me falling inside the train, face first at the same time angling myself so the doors don’t shut on my legs. It was pouring by the time we reached Den Haag (The Hague). Guy #2 had sweetly come to pick us up because knowing our history there was a huge chance we just might get lost. We reached his place, and waited for the workaholic and guy #1 who were just a couple of hours behind us from Paris. Unfortunately, they got extremely delayed because of some emergency in the train which had to be rerouted. We passed our time watching short horror movies. Or rather girl and guy passed their time watching short horror movies whereas I spent my time screaming and trying to cover my eyes and ears at once (true story).
Finally the 2 friends arrived around mid night and we convinced our host to come with us to Lisse, Keukenhof (the 2nd largest flower garden in the world) to visit the tulip fields. You know the vast expanse of tulips you usually see in pictures or videos? Yeah, me neither. We didn’t get to see those because apparently these harmless looking flowers become poisonous a couple of weeks after blooming (always look at the inner beauty, people) and hence need to be cut. We didn’t see the huge tulip fields but we saw them in a complete different arrangement inside. Now if you will ask me to name that flower, that ain’t gonna happen because I was more interested in squealing at the colour combinations and beauty than read up about them. After the tulip fields we went towards the beach to catch the sunset and ate a kind of an authentic Dutch meal. We decided to go to the casino but couldn’t play anything because we were too casually dressed (these guys should come to the boat casinos in Goa). We went back home, got drunk and basically made too much noise till 6 am. Finally the sun rose on our last day in Europe which we had told ourselves will be as epic as Game of Thrones S04 E08 itself (not match the ending of course but match the epicness).