Friday, February 27, 2009

My London






All good things have to come to and end. Sadly this is the final day of this holiday. But it is not a sad day at all. Because I am thrilled that I was here at all. In life you always have to be grateful for the good things that happen to you, in your life. If you don't have that attitude. Then when something good or special happens. It won't mean anything to you.

The final day of my trip has been special. The weather has been perfect. Everyone, including the English themselves complains about the weather in London. But they shouldn't complain at all. Because in my experience when the weather is nice here. It is really nice, and that makes up for all the crappy days.

I completed another walking tour of the city of London today. This tour was a real classic. I took the tube to Green Park. It is a short walk from there to Buckingham Palace. I was in time to see a little bit of the changing of the Royal Guards.

From there I walked all the way to Trafalgar Square. From there I walked over the River Thames, using the Jubilee Bridge. Then I walked all the way to Lambeth Bridge, on the south side of the River Thames. I took some great photos of the experience. Doing this walk gives you some amazing vantage points of the Houses of Parliament.

From there I proceeded past the Houses of Parliament, and right up Whitehall, back to Trafalgar Square. I must say, doing this walk on a picture perfect day. Gives the visitors the reason why. London is still a special city to visit.

Yes there are down sides to visiting this great city. The cost, the commercialism, and the traffic and the crowds. Will get to you after a while. But this great walk today, put everything back into perfect respective for me!

Tonight is my chance to visit, Royal Albert Hall, and to see the opera Carmen. I do look very forward to that!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Regent's Park






This day started with another walk. This time through Regent's Park. I think everyone living in London would go completely mad, if wasn't for there beautiful parks. Yes the city of London does possess some of the most beautiful city green spaces in the world.

I took the tube to St. John Woods tube station and walked to to Regents Park from there. I then walked through the park to the Baker Street tube station. I passed right by Madam Tussuad's wax museum. Again I thought about going in. However the £20 admission fee defiantly persuaded me to again take a pass. I have decided to put my hard earned money into to enjoying the theater experience here in London. You can't do everything here. Unless your last name is Rockefeller, and money is no object. Because you could easily spend over $300 a day here if you don't hold yourself to a budget. London is one of the most expensive cites in the world to live or visit. It forces you to be frugal and patient.

I found a great place for lunch to today. It was a sandwich shop. Located near Trafalgar Square. The lady who greeted me. When I entered the eatery, was very pleasant and nice. That is always a good sign when you enter a restaurant. Also it was busy, with a lot of locals. Which is also a very positive sign. The lunch was excellent. I enjoyed a very nice chicken pasta dish, served with fresh Parmesan cheese for only £5. I call that a major victory for eating out in London.

After lunch I checked out the Natural History museum. I enjoyed what I had the time and energy to see. Then I retreated back to the hostel to recharge my batteries. Tonight I'm off to the theatre again. This time I will see. I Will Rock You, a story based of the rock band "Queen"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Walk Like a Man!












Today after breakfast I was full of energy and decided to go for a walk. Now you may ask yourself. Why would a mailman on holidays go for a long walk?

Well the answer is simple. I believe that proper exercise is an important part of an enjoyable lifestyle. Exercise will keep you feeling and looking younger, longer. If I just decided to relax and do nothing during my 3 week vacation. I would blow up like a balloon, and I would be in poor condition to go back, and attempt to deliver my 5 and 3/4 mile mail route on a daily basis.

So I set out from the Court Hostel and started to walk. First down Earl's Court Road, to find the local library. That is located on Brompton ROad. Libraries are very good for budget travelers. Why, because they offer free Internet use in a proper environment. There are lots of Internet cafes here in London, and the cost is cheap. Only £1 per hour. But free and the peace and quiet of a library is better. The London library was very nice. They issued me a library card, and they reserved Internet time for me, at 4PM.

After I found the library. I didn't look back. I kept going. The final destination was Royal Albert Hall. I have no idea how far I walked, but I did enjoyed it. I was happy that the box office was open, when I arrived. So I was able to pick up my ticket for the opera "Carmen", on Friday night.

I went back to Wong Kei for lunch. I ordered pork noodle soup for lunch this time. It was good. But the restaurant that I like in Toronto is better. After lunch I went to see the Houses of Parliament on the River Thames. I walked across Westminster Bridge. I thought about going on the London Eye. Which is a huge Farris wheel. But I decided to pass on that. The cost is 15 British pounds.

I came back to the hostel to have a rest, and to do my Internet. After that I went to Sainbury's and purchased some ground lamb for dinner. I enjoyed the freshly made dinner very much.

The show I went to see was the Jersey Boys. It was a fantastic show. The tittle of this posting reflects one of this very popular and successful music groups, best songs. I have never had so much enjoyment going to live theater. The music was outstanding!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Museums by Day, Theatre by Night!







Everyday seems to keep getting better, during my London stay. The weather is holding well. Not very cold, and very little precipitation. I did a little shopping after breakfast this morning. I purchased a rare 3 inch CD of "R.E.M., and it is new. Something that is rare for me, to buy something that is still in new condition.

After the shopping I went back to Leicester Square to purchase another theater ticket for tonight. I am going to see the live show"Chicago" tonight. After I purchased the ticket I went to try some lunch in Chinatown. I tried a restaurant that Gary Flower recommended. The restaurant is called "Wong Kei" and is located on Wardour Street. The food was good. I had chicken and sweet corn soup, and the main course was Singapore noddles. The food was good and cheap, it only set me back £4.40.

Then I was off to see the Science museum. It is a very impressive place. Lots to see and do there. They also have a great section on aviation. I will go back to this museum again, if I can find the time and the energy.

In the aviation part of the museum. They of course had a Spitfire and a Hurricane. Both airplanes did see active service during World War 2. They also had a very impressive collection of aviation engines. Most of the fantastic museums they have here in London are free. This does help with budget travelers. That are trying hard to have a great time, during there vacation spent here. It is very easy to go through a fortune a day, if your aren't careful.

For dinner I prepared a nice steak dinner for myself at the hostel. I served fresh English salad for an appetizer. I served hot mixed vegetables with the steak. I have eaten very well during my holiday. I enjoy shopping at the near by Sainsbury's store. The quality and prices are very good.

The second live theater show in London was also very enjoyable. Chicago was a very sexy, lively musical. With lots of difficult and demanding dance routines, preformed well by the talented cast.

Lure Of The Silver Ball!




Today was another eventful day in London. I finally made it to see the Imperial war Museum. It is a very impressive museum for sure. The museum has examples of everything that has to do with human conflict. To bad this museum even exists. But anger and hate are human traits, that just won't go away.

The displays of note in the museum. Where a life size replica of "Little Boy", which was the first atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945. Also there is a fine example of the Nazi German V2 ballistic missile. This weapon is of very important significance. It is the second missile used in war. It caused a lot of damage, as the Nazi used this horrific weapon as a last ditched weapon to try and win World War 2. The very scary thought is. If the Nazi's would have developed atomic weapons first. I surly would not be sitting here now, writing this blog.

The museum also had an powerful display on the "Holocaust". The history of the Holocaust during WW 2 may very well be the worse human tragedy in the history of this planet. There was a shocking and sad display of people who created paintings from there experience in the Holocaust. At this display there was a place where people moved from the display could post and leave a message. My message read. "Forgetting what happened, could allow history to repeat. Never Forget!"

The day quickly went from a sober atmosphere back to full holiday mode. It had been arranged that I meet with Gary Flower. He co-authored a book entitled "Lure Of The Silver Ball". Now, anybody that really knows me, knows that I will always be, a kid at heart. No matter how old this body of mine gets. I grew up playing and loving to play pinball, as a kid. That love has never stopped.

Through Mike H. I had a chance to meet with Gary, as Mike and him are very good friends. So At two PM, I meet up with Gary at the Notthing Hill Gate Station. I was a little late and confused, where I was to meet Gary. But I finally realized my mistake, and meet with him. Gary treated me to a fantastic cup of hot chocolate, and a pastry, and discussed the love of Pinball, and visiting this great city. I enjoyed meeting him. I had brought along my copy of the book, so Gary could autograph it for me. He was happy to do so. So my copy has both of the authors signatures. Which Gary said is rare.

The evening was also a positive enjoyment. I went to see my first play of the trip. It was the production of Carousel. Both the music, acting and singing were outstanding. Going to see these great shows is a must to do, while you are visiting London. They are world class quality and are very affordable. Which you will find is rare during your visit to London.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wanda and Barry!





Today started with a walk through Hyde Park. All the London parks are very impressive indeed. I had arranged to meet with Wanda, and her mate Barry at 12:15. I met them at the entrance to the Earl's Court station. It was great to finally meet them. We first went out for a coffee. I had a tea.

Then they treated me to a meal at a pub, near the station. The company was great. However the food and service was a big disappointment. Not really up to London standards.

I then went out to see the transit museum. I didn't go in though. Because they charge 10 pounds admission, and all the rest of the museum in London are free of charge. I am very interested in the history of the tube, and may purchase a book. Before I go home.

I was back cooking my dinner at the hostel again. This time it was fillet of fresh Norwegian salmon, served with fresh asparagus. I will have to add this one to the recipe book.

I finished the day by going to Leicester Square, and purchasing a ticket to see Jerry Boys on Wednesday night, and We Will Rock You on Thursday night.

Watership Down

Today was a great day for my first full day in London. I started by heading out after breakfast, to visit the famous Portobello Road street market. The weather was good. I took the tube up to the Nothing Hill Gate station. From there I walked to Portobello Road. The market overall was a disappointment. I didn't buy anything. But I did enjoy a pleasant walk, and did some looking. It doesn't cost anything to look.

Then at 1:30 I met Stephen C., Colin's brother, and Keith's uncle, at the tube station, located at East Putney. Stephen and I had a great afternoon together. Stephen took me out on a long drive to visit the village of "King's Clear". This is the village where his mother lives. I must say it was fantastic to be out in the English countryside again. It is a very special place to be. Stephen brought out a picnic lunch and we enjoyed our meal at Watership Down. This is the place where author Richard Adams, based his famous novel on.

The day was over not yet. I also met a very nice lady, named Marion, who is a good friend of Stephen's mother. She is a neighbor. The three of us went on a walk about. We also had the chance to see the training area for a huge and successful horse racing stable. It was very impressive to see.

We then enjoyed tea, at the Marion's home, and then Steven drove me back to London. We finished the day off by enjoying fish and chips for dinner. It was very good. But to my shock! There was no ginger beer. Can you believe it Grommit, no ginger beer!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wherewolfe In London!















I have arrived back in the U.K. And I couldn't be more thrilled! I was up early this morning. Peter had me to the" Best" train station on time. I took the express train to the airport. The K.L.M Boeing 737 was a little late taking off, but the flight went smooth. KLM even served a sandwich and a drink. Which was a surprise for a short flight.

It felt great to be back on London's tube. I did forget how small and cramped the tube's carriages are, on the Picadilly Line. They are much smaller then the cars that are used on most systems. However the "Tube" is historic, and is the backbone for moving people around one of the major cities in this world. There is no way that you could ever be bored in this city. Weather it is the Theatre, seeing the famous sights, or just strolling around, it is great to be in London!

The Hague- A Very nice place.

The last day, of the first two weeks of my holiday was spent in The Hague. It is by far the nicest city in the Netherlands. Don't get me wrong. I love Amsterdam. You can't beat the atmosphere in Amsterdam, and there is always lots to look at, and things to do.

The Hague is a city of culture and class. It is also very close to the North Sea. So you have a chance to forget about all your cares, being by the ocean.

Again I though the best way for me to enjoy my one day in this great city is to just to get out by foot and see it. Try to find the proof on video and in pictures what make The Hague one of the true great cities of this world.

I had a very nice time during my visit to "The Hague". I went into a great used book store. I told the owner Ingrid. "This is the best used book store, I have ever been in". I found and purchased two rare pinball books. A copy of "Special When Lit". Which is one of the best books ever written on the subject. Also I purchased a rare Dutch pinball book. It is written in Dutch. However I purchased it, because it was cheap, and because it is so rare.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Amsterdam!

Today was my day to enjoy Amsterdam. This great city is one of the reasons for enjoying a holiday in the Netherlands. I honestly never get tired of visiting Amsterdam. The atmosphere of the city is electric. It is full of life and energy. There is always things to keep a visitor happy and asking for more.

My day was spent exploring Amsterdam on foot. On arrival, I bolted from the Central Train Station, just like a thoroughbred racehorse leaving the starting gate. I moved right through the shopping area. Once I reached the first canal. Then you realize that you are in a totally different place. The best nickname for Amsterdam is "The Venice of the North". The very extensive canal system that Amsterdam processes, and all the old historic homes and buildings, help to transfer the visitors and the inhabitants to a totally different world. Very far away from the modern world.

In the old downtown area, there are many more bikes on the streets and roads with cars. A fitting reminder. What a popular mode of transit riding a bike is, in this country. My only disappointment of the day came early. After I started my walk. Nature started to let me know, that I would have to use the gentleman's room soon. I passed by two McDonald's' restaurants. I thought to myself. I can go into a McDonald's' anytime. When I'm in Amsterdam. I have to avoid McDonald's, and choose to stop to use the Gentleman's room, and stop for a coffee at a traditional Amsterdam pub. It sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Well all good ideas, don't always turn out well.

I ordered a coffee when I walked into the bar. The coffee was sitting on counter when I came back from using the washroom. Before I left I asked to pay for the coffee. The waitress laid the shocking news, that the coffee was going to cost me, 3.50€. This price is ridiculous. The exchange into Canadian money is $5.53. For that money I could have enjoyed a grande specialty coffee at Star Bucks. The attitude of the bar, I went into was insulting. To say the least. Unfortunately these things will happen during a trip. They are unavoidable, and you should not let an incident like that spoil you day. Just laugh it off, and never go back to that place.

I took a lot of pictures and shot a lot of video. I hope I can bring back the true flavor and atmosphere of this great city with me. I enjoyed the shopping. I found a very interesting flea market, located at Waterloo Square. Apparently it happens everyday in Amsterdam. I found a very nice used Kenwood Mini Disc player for sale for 35€. This was a very good price for this rare digital audio player. To my disappointment I couldn't bring it home. Because of the fact that Europe electronics run on 230 volts, compared to 110 in North America. Some appliances have the feature of being convertible, and therefore can easily be used in both continents. But sadly this mini disc player didn't have this feature.

I did purchase a couple of rare vinyl Lp's for cheap money. I finally took a well needed break, and found an excellent place to have a rest and enjoy a fabulous falafel. This falafel was the second best falafel I have enjoyed in my life. The best was eaten during my 1991 trip. It was enjoyed in Greenwich Village, in New York City. After I got my second wind. I walked back to the Central Train Station, and made the 17:07 train back to Best. I have to get ready for my final full day, of my visit to the Low countries.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A serious day!






It is great to do things that are fun and relaxing on a holiday. But is also good to have variety on a vacation. For me, history has always been a subject of interest. The study of history is a study of the past. The past makes you think, how will the past effect the future. Or you ask yourself the question. How will the future turn out compared to the past?

Today was one of those days. Peter's sister Margaret offered to spend the afternoon with me. The plan was to go and visit an infamous place in Dutch history. We went to visit the Nazi Concentration camp located in a town called "Vught". It was my second time to visit one of these horrible places. The first time was during my 1986 trip to Switzerland. During that trip, I went to visit Dachau. That concentration camp is located just outside of Munich, Germany. Dachau was the first concentration camp that was opened by the Nazi's in 1933.

You may ask yourself after reading this posting. Why would anybody go to visit such a horrible place, like a concentration camp? Especially during a vacation. The answer is, you go; because the events that took place there really happened, you go in respect for all the innocent decent people who died there, and you go because you want to keep there memory alive, so these horrible events will never ever repeat themselves, ever again!

The day quickly went back to a much friendly and enjoyable holiday atmosphere. Margaret agreed to make my favorite traditional Dutch meal. I enjoyed this fine homemade meal, on my last trip to the The Netherlands , in 2006. The meal is called Zuurkoolstamp. The translation into English is "Sauerkraut, with Mashed Potatoes". It is a traditional Dutch winter time meal. It is a very satisfying and enjoyable dinner. Real Dutch comfort food. The recipe combines preparing mashed potatoes, and mixing them with fried bacon, and heated sauerkraut. This hearty meal is served with heated smoked pork sausage. Serve this meal with one of you favorite wines, and you will enjoy a meal, you will always remember.

I would like to thank Margaret for an enjoyable afternoon, and preparing a great dinner. I look forward to trying to prepare this great dinner for family and friends, when I get home.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A day to rest.

Today was a day to relax and to enjoy to life, like a Dutch person, and not like a tourist. I had an outing to Eindhoven. This day was to just take it easy and get my second wind for the remaining part of this holiday. The upcoming time spent in London. Will be hectic. So I want to be well prepared so I get the most enjoyment from my time there.

After breakfast and a shower. I walked to the train station in Best. This distance is about 3 KM, from Peter's home. Then I purchased a return train ticket to Eindhoven. On arriving in Eindhoven I did a walking tour. The tour ended when I reached the main shopping district in the city. By the time I reached the shopping district I had walked for another 4 or 5 KM. So I did have some decent exercise today. Good exercise is important during a trip. You can't enjoy all this wonderful food and drink, that Europe has to offer. Without burning off some calories. If I don't continue to exercise, I would quickly blow up like a balloon, with my healthy attitude on eating.

Lunch was another very good experience. I found a nice fast food restaurant called "Soho". It was Japanese food. I had a beef stir fry, served over noodles. I had a chance to rest, and enjoy a very nice meal. After lunch I did a shop for tonight's dinner. I purchased the ingredients for Donny's homemade Jewish chicken soup. Then I did the return trip back to Peter's home.

I prepared the chicken soup dinner, and enjoyed watching T.V. on Peter's newly aquired 37 inch LCD TV. I did enjoy the relaxing day, and the homemade dinner, did turn out well

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One of my favorite cities, Masstricht!




Today we are going to visit one of my favorite cities. That I have had the pleasure of visiting during my travels. It is the city of Masstricht. Which is the capital of the Dutch province of Limburg. It is currently just after 8:30, and Peter and I are having a quick breakfast as we are getting ready to leave. We are also going with Peter's friend Frans. We stoped off during our journey to Maastricht to pick Frans up. We enjoyed coffee and a snack at Frans place before we headed off to Maastricht.

We arrived in Maastricht, and the first order of business was to enjoy "vlaai". This is traditional Limburg cake. When I was there, back in 2006. Peter and enjoyed a piece of apple vlaai. This time we enjoyed a piece of cherry vlaai. Served with a hot cappuccino, it is a very satisfying eating experience.

The next order of business was to find Andre Rieu's home. For anybody that doesn't know. Andre Rieu is a famous and highly successful musician, and concert violinist. Andre is a native son to the city of Masstricht. He is famous for his live performances of classical music, that are a pleasure and enjoyable experience. I had the treat of taking my mother to see one of his shows in December 2007, during one of his Toronto shows. It was a great experience.

During the 2006 trip, Peter and I came up empty. We were unable to find the Rieu home. We were close but unsuccessful. My mother who is a huge fan of Andre Rieu. Was disappointed that we didn't find the home, after all he lives in a Castle. How difficult can it be to find a Castle. This time it was a different story. With the help of Frans, and the Internet. We went with the proper information to find the home. Which actually walked right by the Rieu estate. But some local people were helpful, and quick to correct us. I am bringing home some excellent pictures of the Rieu Castle, as a souvenir if this trip.

We enjoyed a walking tour of Mastricht. This classic European city offers a very nice and relaxed atmosphere. The Maas River divides this city of 120,000 inhabitants. It is the oldest city in the Netherlands. It defiantly worth a visit during a trip to Holland.

Peter, Frans and I enjoyed a very good lunch during our visit to Masstricht. We ate at the Cafe''T Pothiske. The highlight for the meal for my was the soup. I enjoyed a delicious bowl of French Onion soup. It was damp and cold day in Masstricht. So this fantastic soup, went down very well. Also eating at the restaurant was a first for me. It was my second visit to this eatery. Peter and I had enjoyed vlaai and cappuccino, during our visit there in 2006.

We had a leisurely drive home, first to drop Frans off at his home, and then Peter our way back to Best.

Riding in Heaven, I mean Holland!






I have woke up just after 8 am. Peter enjoys sleeping in. And why not, it is the weekend. No regular work. So it is the chance to get ready for the next working week. I'm not sure what we will be doing today. After Peter wakes up. I will find out after breakfast.

The weather situation turned out to be perfect for one of my favorite activities. Yes riding a bike. Some of the simplest pleasures in this thing we call life. Still reign supreme, in my humble opinion.

Peter and I first did some shopping in downtown Best. Today the farmers market was set up. This is a big part of European life. Having a good supply and easy access to fresh food. There was very good quality and selection at the market. Plus Saturday is the big shopping day here in Europe. Sunday on this continent is still considered a day of rest. So everyone stocks up with what they need, on Saturday. So they can relax on Sunday, as almost all stores are closed.

Peter and I also enjoyed some fresh, fried fish. This is also a favorite choice to enjoy at the Best Farmers Market. I don't think I will find the same quality fried fish, during my upcoming visit to London, England. Now it was time to go to the local bike shop, located in Best. To rent a bicycle and enjoy one of Holland's special pleasures.

The lady in charge of the bike shop was very nice. I rented a very nice, and high quality bicycle for only 7.50€. I had this beautiful ride, until 5 PM, when the bike shop, was closing. First job was ride from the bike shop, located in downtown Best, to Peter's home. The first part of my ride went well. Then I became lost. I was a little confused how to find Peter's home, from where I was located. I started my search to find Peter's home address. As I figured out my best chance to find the house. My guess was rewarded with success. I found the home, just as Peter was leaving the home to search for me.

Peter and I then set out on a 20 KM ride. We rode to the town of Oirschot. It was a scenic ride through a very well organized system of bike paths. Also the scenery was very nice, and Peter and I rode through some very nice farm country, that was located between the two Dutch towns.

During our short stay in the town of Oirschot, Peter and I enjoyed a very ice cream cone, from a candy store. The town of Oirschot, is also considered a historic place in Holland. I did take a picture of the town church. It does look very ornate and historic.

We enjoyed a leisurely ride back to the bike store to return the bicycle. After we dropped the bicycle off> Peter rode his bike back to his place, to get his car. He then returned, to pick me up. I waited at a Dutch hamburger restaurant, until Peter arrived.

Dinner was a another special meal, during this vacation. Peter and I enjoyed the shopping from the farmers market in the morning. On the menu was; cream soup as the appetizer, steak, served with teriyaki mushroom and vegetable stir fry, and white steamed rice. The meal was very good. Peter served fresh Dutch cheese on dried bread, after the main course. Also to follow was fresh strawberries served over fresh yogurt. It is easy to get use to life in Europe. I look forward to tomorrow.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

From Brugge, back to Best.

I like the Lybeer hostel very much. The location is perfect, the staff that work there are very nice people. Also the breakfast they serve there guests is very good. My only complaint was that it was very cold in the room, that I was sleeping in. It was one of those nights, when you couldn't wait until morning to arrive.
The breakfast was very nice, and I also enjoyed nice company for breakfast. A nice couple from Brazil, and Ina, a very nice lady I met in Brussels. Ina is also from South America also, from Columbia.

I had a chance to go for another enjoyable stroll through Brugge. I purchased a replacement for the lost umbrella, that was on loan from Peter. I was confused where to have my final lunch in Brugge. Not a surprise. I went back to have lunch at Pasta Maria's. The food is very good there, and so are the prices. I tried there pizza. Very, very good, is an very accurate comment. I am just relaxing at the hostel. I am thinking about climbing the Belfry Tower to get some more great pictures, and video from Brugge.

Yes and I went back and completed the stroll up the 366 steps to the top of the Belfry tower in Brugge. If you have the chance to visit this town, which is like living in a history book. Doing the hike up the Belfry tower, is the right thing to do, before you leave. Being a letter carrier is the right trainering for the climb. It took me less then 10 minutes to make it to the top. I sure I do more steps on my postal route back home, during the delivery of my postal route.

When I last visited Brugge, back in 1991. I did take some pictures from the top of the Belfry tower. Since my last visit, a thick mental screen has been installed completely around the observation level. To try and prevent any mentally depressed people, from ending there lives, by jumping off the top of the tower. That is another sad reality of modern life.

I did enjoy being back at the top of Brugge. I did did also shoot some video from the top of the Belfry Tower. Also what was a real plasure for me, was watching the antique and historic mecanical symtem. That has the task of operating the bells at the top of the tower. As various times the bells play out tunes before each hour. Then on each hour the main bell, rings ounce, for each hour. It was very intersting to watch.

At 14:45 I bid my goodbye to Charlie. She is the very nice lady that works at the Lybeer Hostel, and then went on the short walk back to the Brugge Train Station. I made time to mail my last 3 post cards home; one to Keith & Sandie, one to the family, and one to my good friend Stephanie L.

I was on my way back to Best. The journey first took me from Brugge to Antwerp. Arriving at Anwerp central station. It did bring back more good memories from the 1991 trip, and the central station in Antwerp is a very impressive building. I'm sure it ranks among one of the best railroad stations in the world.

From Antwerp, Belgium. I had to change trains, and then go to Roosendaal, The Netherlands. Then at Roosendaal Station. I had to take a train in the direction of Hertogenbosch ('s). I made a minor mistake during the trip. I had the chance to verify my journey back with to Best, with the conductor, and I failed to do so. I believe that I was suppose to change trains in Tillburg, onroute back to Best. However I failed to do that. The next best option for me, was to get off at the Hertogenbosch ('s) station. I knew that I could pick up a train bound for Best, from that station. I was correct, however the mistake was going to delay my arrival back in Best, by about 15 minutes. Peter was good enough to allow me to borrow an extra cell phone, that his has. So I was able to call him, and tell him of my delay. So Peter would be there to greet me at the proper time.

All went well, Peter was waiting at the Best station on my arrival. We went back to his place. Discussed plans for this weekend. I called home, and breifly spoke to Mom. Everything happily is going well, at home. Then Peter and I set out for a very nice Chinese dinner in Best. Peter and I, enjoyed a very good Chinese, all you can eat buffet. It was an excelllent way to end, another very enjoyable day, living in Europe.

My Day In Brugge!





Had a good night sleep at the hostel. Time to get out and see this amazing city. First enjoyed the very best Hostel breakfast ever. Yes the Point Loma hostel, located in San Diego served all you could eat pancakes for breakfast. That was really nice. This is the first hostel to offer you all the meat and cheese you could enjoy for your breakfast. Yes the people had all the usually there for a hostel breakfast; cereal, bread, peanut butter, juice, butter, chocolate sprinkles, and coffee and tea for your beverage. Also available was nice cheese, and a salami style meat. I enjoyed a very nice meat and cheese sandwich for my breakfast today. A healthy and nutritious breakfast is always a great way to start your day.

I enjoyed more of the same, for my Brugge visit. Just walked around and enjoyed the flavor and atmosphere of this very attractive place to be. I tried to do some shopping, here in Brugge. It is a real challenge for me here. Because of the fact that the Canadian dollar doesn't have very good value, here in Europe. Also is the fact that I have become an astute used goods shopper. I am really become out of my element. When I am shopping in a new goods retail store.

In searching around Brugge. I finally found a very good used goods store. They seemed to have some very nice items for sale. I made a good find searching around in the store. I found a pair of high quality German made Lowa Hiking Boots. The store had a 30 € price tag on them. Would they fit me? Close but no cigar. I believe they are a North American size 9, and a perfect fit for me would have been a 9 1/2 size. These high quality gore-tex boots would have been a steal at the 30€ price, which is almost 50 Canadian dollars. However I couldn't buy them, if they weren't a perfect fit.

It has been e very good food day for me. I started with the excellent breakfast from the hostel. Before lunch I set out on a free for all walking tour of Brugge. Believe me, when I say. It is a real pleasure to be in this town. It is one of those rare urban environments. That just makes you feel great, when you are there. I wondered around for about an hour, before my body starting screaming for nourishment. Well I didn't disappoint my body. I found a pub restaurant on the outskirts of Brugge. You can easily tell that you are in Brugge, because the city is almost completely surrounded by a canal system.

The meal was superb, it consisted of a Flemish dish. The meal was boneless chicken breast, that had been split and stuffed with a piece of ham. Then the chicken was sauteed and cooked to perfection. Then the chicken was served on a bed of mashed potatoes and other vegetables. That were mixed together, that gave the mixture a green color. The whole meal was excellent, and only set me back 8.50 Euros. I washed this great meal down with a fabulous Belgium Beer. In Canada, drinking beer is just a favorite cult way of getting drunk on a Friday, or summer time night. Well here in Belgium, drinking beer is a real special experience. It is like drinking wine in France. It is part of the cultures of those two great countries. It should be enjoyed when you are visiting here. It is a pleasure, an experience that shouldn't be ignored.

For my dinner. I was in the mood to cook. I am considering doing a cookbook for budget travelers. It is important to eat well during a holiday. Sometimes it is better, and it will also save you money to do it yourself. Here is what I made, it was simple and delicious. I call it Steak Ala Brugge. The piece of steak was nice and I sauteed it, in a broth of soy sauce, ketchup, and some water. I used some margarine because there was no cooking oil. I purchase some fresh stir fry veggies, and in they went to the mix. The meal was a big success. The cost of this tasty and nutritious meal, with soft drink included was 7.36 Euros. The cost of this meal in a local Brugge restaurant, over 20 Euros.

I ended my day finishing the posting on this blog. Also I met another very nice fellow Canadian tonight, at the hostel, her name is Fiona. It was excellent talking with you tonight Fiona. Wishing you happy traveling.