A Travellerspoint blog

April 2014

Train rides and pub crawls part 2

In bruges

overcast 18 °C

The first pub we went to was called The Crash. A very metal genre pub with a dark mysticism about it. The bartender was once just a bar back and had just bought the bar from the owner that night. So tonight was a special night for him. He was preparing absinthe for the locals and made all the drinks discounted. The pun crawl chaperone looked rastafari and said he was from Jamaica. After a couple of drinks he came forward and told us its just an act and he was from phillie. Today was also a special day for him because it was his last ever pub crawl because his visa was expiring and he was going to go back to the states. Apparently he got the job when he was backpacking and he just kind of fell in love with the locale and stayed. The second bar we went to was pretty big and also had a hole in the wall feel. In the back there were 5 pool tables but we're full of people. Along the pub crawl I met a cat from spain and his name for the night was Espania. I also met a Malaysian guy and his friend who were around 19 years old just backpacking and drinking. Espania came over to the table that I was drinking and told me all the people that were back there were kids and they all drank and smoked. The hilarity of this suggestion made me curios so I had to investigate. I heard one of the very young girls who was drinking her beer speak Spanish and I told her I wasn't a creeper but I was curios how old the kids were she replied she was 16 and some others were 16-17. Apparently it was a school trip from spain and it was legal to drink for them. I learned soon enough that in bruge yoi can drink at a very early age and smoke but you cannot drink hard liquor until 18. After finding that out were crawled unto the next bar saw that the dance floor had a shower head on the ceiling. Somehow we got the bartender to turn in on and we danced the night away. Soon we all left and I had somehow been separated in bruges at night. The worst possible thing happen to me while drunk. Somehow I saw Espania also wandering around and we both found the hostel. I managed to climb into my bed and pass out. The next day I woke up extremely sore and just wanted to rest but ate breakfast with the group and had a great time just telling stories and future plans. One By One They all left to they're next destination and we all bid farwell. I made a friend from the UK who wanted to climb the tower that day. So I joined her and we talked a lot along the way and saw the sights. Climbing the tower was interesting because the stairs spiral at an extreme angle and everyone wants to go up and down at the same time. The top of the tower had the musical chime room that coordinated mechanically how the 36+ bells would ring and play a song(very steampunk). After spending about an hour up and down the tower we wandered back to the hostel and start and ate some go made sandwiches we all prepped in the bar. That evening we want back out to take some pictures during the night and I believe that bruges at night is way better for pictures. We called it a night early due to being hungover and I slept like a rock.

Also belgian beer is very strong I do not suggest you drink too many while pub crawling.

"There are no strangers in here, just friends you haven't met..."- Roald Dahl

Posted by egarciafreites 01:25 Archived in Belgium Tagged beer and tower in pubs from belgium bruges Comments (0)

Train rides and pub crawls part 1

Today I traveled from amsterdam to Bruges and I enjoyed riding the train. Although a bit crowded sometimes it's a fast and cheap way to travel. As soon as I arrived I overheard and amercian couple In Their late 70'S. Mr Billy was a veteran from the army and had served during the cold war and had been drafted for the war. They told me that they had been married for 13 years when their spouses passed away and they just travel the world together now. They were full of life and awesome stories and I would've loved to talk more to them but I had a taxi to catch for the hostel. Arriving at the Bauhaus was pretty neat. The reception is next to the bar and the hostel is to buildings stuck together. Yesterday was the first time I stayed in a REAL hostel, a 10 mixed dorm room to be exact. The people I met where super friendly and we all started playing a game called jungle speed. It's a great game but I heard it's better when you drunk haha. After playing and getting to know everyone we proceeded to start drinking and drinking and drinking. After all the drinking I signed up for a pub crawl and they all cheered for my birthday. Also the pubs were hole in the wall.

Posted by egarciafreites 05:32 Comments (0)

museums and starving artists

Today I wanted to take it easy and get some museums knocked out of the way. The weather was rainy, but not enough to keep me Indoors. I did have to bring out my backpack waterproof poncho which is a really smart buy especially if you don't want electronics or important documents getting soaked. I walked for about an hour into centraal amsterdams crazy roads and canal pathways. Until I finally reached the one thing I wanted a picture of. It was the (I amsterdam) sign even though it was raining I managed to take a pictures with my phone. Luckily right around the corner was the Van Gogh museum. The line was insane but it is what it is. One thing I don't agree with is how close Europeans are willing to get close to you so that the line may seem shorter. Maybe it me being aggressive because I enjoy my personal bubble especially getting out of the navy and being in a boat for 8 months. All you can do is just wait patiently because at one point you have to realize they want to see the museum too. So the museum was packed but I rented an Interactive samsung s4 tour guide (wow this thing is nice maybe I should steal it ). After walking for a better part of the hour around learning about how this starving artist became so talented a nd how he explored many different types of Art to not having enough money to buy new canvas. He at one point Started to paint behind other canvases to cut costs. He also had an allowance but between paint and brushes he was usually broke. After learning lots of fascinating facts and history I was hungry so back out I went. Amsterdam has an Interesting vending machine fast food system. The joint had 50 small heated glass compartments each with its own food and cost. All you do is pay 1-2 euro and pick the window and out comes a hot burger, chicken burger, mystery fried good etc....This to me is probably the cheapest way of eating here and it's not bad at all. While eating my 2 euro chicken burger I decided to go see the Anne Frank museum and once again the line was an hour or so long. They did have wifi and the rain let up. Of course like many museum you cannot take pictures of the museum or its articles so you have to see to enjoy. The museum did a spectacular job teaching you how she and her family lived and what emotions ran through on a daily basis. To me Anne Frank is always going to be a sad story but it's good to know so that the world may never fall into such calamity again. Finally I walked around ate some more snacks and sat down to rest my feet. It was starting to get pretty late but I managed to wander into some commotion involving what I'm guessing Holland's soccer team. Hooligans and drunks alike were chanting and just having a good time. The police on the other hand were on edge and performed random backpack checks (I'm guessing for weapons).I happened to get checked but jus nodded my head in confusion because I did not speak the local tongue. I then went on my way into the thick of it and got some pretty good recordings. I also walked though Chinatown and some street that reminded me of the Wan Chai district in Hong Kong. Finally I called it because the next day I have a train to catch going to Brugge.

"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."
-Gustave Flaubert.

Posted by egarciafreites 22:36 Comments (0)


The craziness that is koningsda

sunny 22 °C

So I woke up fairly early to get a head start on the day to see what this big event was all about. I went to the local metro which is like 1 minute away crowd.t to centraal which is the center of the hub bub I was staying on the east side where it is quite. I started drinking fairly early but couldn't seem go get drunk because there was so much to do and I'm pretty sure I was burning it all walking cause all you seem to do in amsterdam is wander and explore. So today is probably the biggest garage sale in the world if you live here you sold things you don't want or need anymore or sell beverages and food right outside your door. Also if you're drinking your part of the crowd. Youre probably still wondering why i titled the blog panda..
Heres why.So sometime in the craziness that I'd koningsda I somehow got persuaded into buy a panda one sie that I wore for the better half of the day. I mean cmon how awesome is a furry panda getting drunk. It was pretty awesome getting so many cheers and free beer but I handled myself accordingly. Being in the state that I got the munchies and man does amsterdam have amazing waffles and pancakes. Unfortunately as the evening progressed and the crowd started turning into a drunken mass of un-passables I got hit hard by the jetlag. I dragged my tired and beaten corpse back to the hostel and slept like a rock. Today more walking!

"Today was good. Today was fun. Tommorow is another on"- Dr Seuss.

Posted by egarciafreites 08:51 Tagged panda koningsda Comments (0)

I'll Sleep When I Die

Sleeping... and lack there of

semi-overcast 18 °C

As I arrived at the airport in Istanbul I had maybe slept 4 hours the night prior.

When you experience time changes on the boat in the Navy, it hurts but its not too bad. On an international flight, they close all the windows and maybe 5 hours later it is bright as day again! So when I stepped on to the terminal transfer gate, I looked at the time in my phone and it was only 9 or 10 am (in Texas) but 6pm in Istanbul. This airport reminds me of the movie The Fifth Element when the main characters board the space craft towards the cruise liner. It was by all means an International Mecca, and the duty free stores were actually as big as malls. I waited patiently for the next flight and boarded at 8 PM Istanbul time. On the transit back west I gained an hour back, so I was all messed up from the jet lag. I soon gained my heading when I unloaded the plane and went to baggage claim.

While I was walking towards the visa checkpoint I thought wouldn't it be hilarious if the officer asked me what I wanted to do in Amsterdam and I would reply, "Party and rock on." Now, I would never usually say such stupid things... but I'm trying to be more gutsy when it comes to certain things. I almost didn't attempt it, but when the moment came I said it so casually that the officer got caught off guard and gave a cheeky smile. He then asked when I would be leaving and I told him I would be backpacking Europe and that Italy was next he gave me a very American "Cool, man." I then got my 1 bag from baggage claim and took a taxi to the hostel Meininger.

Side note: This is probably the last time I take a taxi in Europe. We drove 15 miles and it cost me 40 euro!

Checking into the hostel was pretty simple and the receptionists are really kind. Now here is where it gets interesting... I forgot to mention that in a hostel, most of the dorm rooms are mixed (meaning co-ed). I completely forgot that, and stepped into a 2 bed dorm room. Don't worry, I soon realized who my roommate was... a guy from Portugal. I then showered and unpacked what little I had and attempted to sleep. 3 hours later I was still awake. So now I'm eating breakfast. I'll get some sleep later on. Maybe when I go back to the states.

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."- Augustine of Hippo

Posted by egarciafreites 21:55 Archived in Netherlands Tagged koningsda Comments (0)

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