Euro trip day 18: When in doubt, climb a hill.

Our final full day of the trip. It’s funny writing about this day now as today is the day my students returned from their summer break. As a teacher, this is a bit like the starting horn of a race, it’s the beginning of a movement that doesn’t stop until the last day of the summer term. Much like starting a treadmill, you realise that for the next 9 months every working day will have this momentum that for whatever reason seems to speed up time. It’s a bittersweet feeling as in someways its nice that the time passes by so well but when you sit and reflect it’s easy to have weeks go by where you can’t even really recall what happened. Travel is the complete opposite, even if you’re busy and do lots, the vast differences in each day, the change of scenery and the new people around you everyday slows everything down and makes every moment unique and significant.

Belgium makes the best backdrop.

Our last full day of the trip was spent back where it all started, in Belgium. I love Belgium. It holds a strong place in my heart due to it being the first place the band ever toured that wasn’t the UK. Through returning again and again, we developed a big friendship group and lots of fond memories. It’s only fitting that Laura and her family are from this wonderful country. I honestly could see myself living there if I didn’t live in England and Brexit doesn’t lock me onto this ‘Little Rock’. Our plan for the day was simple, Run, Porridge and then one last adventure. We sort of wanted to go back to Lake Zilvermeer but the weather wasn’t really fun our favour. So we kept things local and explored the local town of Waterloo.

Farm life.

Waterloo is famous for the one and only ‘Battle of Waterloo’ in which Napoleon fought. As you are about to find out, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention when we visited the battlefield and museum after a fantastic run and good ol’ bowl of oaty goodness! We climbed the ‘Lion monument’ which was a nice steep upward climb with 228 stairs. Don’t ask how I remember the number of stairs. That’s just how my brain works. It was a good little museum and the views from the monument were pretty good, although the price was a bit extortionate for what it was. I would say go if you want to but the most ideal thing to have done would be to sneak there at sunrise and climb the monument without paying.

After our pricey bit of cultural history we headed into the town of Waterloo where we discovered a cool little bookshop full of used books. I love a used bookshop, simply because the books are cheap and they’re often full of good reads. Also, used books tend to have memories in the pages. You can tell a page is good because the book will naturally open onto that page. I like flicking through pages of various books to see which page naturally opens and then reading a paragraph or two. On this particular excursion I only came out with a postcard that I found in one of the books that someone had clearly been using as a bookmark and forgotten to take out. We also spent the afternoon taking some photos with the traditional Belgian field backdrops.

That evening we introduced some of Laura’s elders to the flavours of Mexico as we got takeaway burritos and Nachos. This is something we did at the end of our Italy trip so it seemed only fitting to do it again. I’m not sure the elders really took to the spices though, they didn’t seem to finish the food and the toilet was occupied quite a lot the next morning… oh well.

The next day was our journey home, though we didn’t have to leave until 6pm so I will do a post about it. Especially as we visited one of my favourite places – Ghent.

Read me again soon.

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