20140523 Amsterdam-Bruges

7:30 Up, packing.

8:30 Cafeteria.

9:20 Done organizing cash and journal.

9:25 Made oatmeal.

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10:05 Waited at the front desk, met Andrew, and checked out.

10:10 Sloterdijk station.

10:18 Took the bus GVB pass was valid for.

10:38 Central station.

10:45 Was confused over the locker for a while.

10:55 Finally rented a small locker and both backpacks fitted in, surprisingly. EUR 2.50.

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11:00 Took a tram.

11:10 Got off.

11:18 Pancakes! Amsterdam. Andrew found this on Yelp. It was very tiny. I mean, really tiny.

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11:45 Seated! Ordered the daily special (pancake + grilled salmon + spinach + tomato sauce + lemon honey + blini), and fresh mint tea, because everybody seemed to be drinking it in this city.

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11:55 The fresh mint tea tasted pretty interesting. It tasted a lot more “raw” than the regular mint tea I was used to.

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12:20 I thought I would starve to death. Food has finally arrived, and it was worth the wait! It was full of flavours, and the salmon was really good.

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12:40 Andrew took the bill, since he owed me a lunch from before. Thus I do not have the price for this place. They had a one bill per table policy.

13:00 Walked to Vondel Park.

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There were many tourists, many trees, and lots of garbage.

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13:10 Took pictures at the “I amsterdam” sign. I tried to make it look “Hamsterdam” but it didn’t look like it since I was not tall enough.

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13:55 Started walking toward central station.

14:05 Saw people playing chess on a giant chess board in a plaza. I stayed for a bit to watch. They looked very serious during the game, and shook hands cordially after the game.

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14:20 So I started again, and realized I lost my wallet. I should SEW EVERYTHING to my bag. Seriously.

14:40 Walked back to the pancake place, but they didn’t have it. Sigh. At least it was my “travel wallet” which only had EUR 31.50 and my international student card.

15:18 Central station. Sat down for a while to rest.

15:55 Baggage room.

16:05 I could not get the door to open, so I had to get someone to open it and pay once more. EUR 5.

16:10 On the train.

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16:18 Departed. The train was pretty clean.

17:35 Antwerpen. The train station was huge. They had long escalators as well.

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17:40 Ticket office. I asked how to use the “ABS (any Belgian station)” ticket I bought from raileurope website. I had no idea which country I was in, so I was in line for domestic, and was told that I should go to international…

17:50 I had a bit of time before my next train, so I walked outside. It was cleaner, less crowded, and prettier than Amsterdam. Although someone later told me that this was the only place in Antwerpen that had anything touristy.

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18:05 Back in, and was lost for a while looking for my platform.

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18:10 On board. The view from the train was great. I was passing by lots of farms.

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18:40 The train was fast, I (and my camera) was not. There were cows, horses, and sheep, which made me feel as if I was on a safari bus (not without exaggeration). 

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18:50 Ticket check. The ticket collector looked confused (I guessed that ABS tickets were unusual).

19:30 Another ticket check.

19:43 Bruges! I was glad that it’s not crowded.

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19:55 Started raining, so I ran to the bus stop.

20:02 Bus. EUR 2.

20:05 I did study the map before, and I had a feeling that I missed the stop. I was glad that I asked the driver right away, because I did miss it. The bus did not stop at every stop. The driver knew the hostel, so he thankfully told me the directions.

20:10 Hostel. It was old but clean.

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Checked in. EUR 31.68.
Considering that this included breakfast, it was really cheap.

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20:25 Room. There were two sinks in the room, no lockers, and no outlets at the bed. Shared shower and toilet were outside the room.

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20:40-20:50 Sewed my sandal strap. It was tough, because the needle had to go through two pieces of leather.

20:55 Shower. The water started cold but eventually got warm.

21:40 Lobby.

23:24 Bed time.

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