After spending 4 hours in the Philadelphia International Airport, we finally boarded our plane. It was a pretty uneventful flight. The most excitement we had came when Steve Lazzaro wrote a remix to Nelly’s “Hot in here,” his version is called, “Its piping chought in here.” I guess you kinda had to be there to get that one…
Anyway, after almost no sleep and eight hours in the air, we landed in Brussels and met our tour guide, Seymour.
Seymour led us to our hotel where we dropped off our bags and then headed out to go on our bike tour of the city. This is where things started to get interesting. First, in the words of James Levine, we “split into two even groups,” half of us going with Cesar and half with Alex. Cesar and Alex were our bike tour guides:
It didn’t take long to realize that a couple people were not exactly the most skilled bikers. This posed a bit of a problem since biking in Belgium means navigating narrow cobble stone streets while avoiding getting run over by speeding cars and mopeds. One of our freshmen, Dorvil Gabriel, was one of these inexperienced bikers. To avoid potential catastrophe, Cesar’s group decided to leave him behind at the train station where we were all set to meet after the ride. In Alex’s group, Mark Loper decided the ride was too dangerous, so he headed back to the train station as well.
Although the general level of excitement for the bike tour was pretty low initially (imagine not sleeping for 30 hours, then being told you were going on a 5 hour bike ride through a foreign city with a lot of hills), it turned out to be a pretty cool experience.
We learned our way around the city and found some good food and beverages at a local street fair.
Eventually we made it back to the hotel, checked into our rooms, and passed out for a couple hours. Following our naps, we went back out into the city to eat and get a taste of some of the local hotspots – including Délirium, a popular cafe/bar known for having the largest variety of beers in the world. We were led by our resident tour guide, Matthew Rohn (Class of 2014). The night ended with us feasting on french fries and Belgian waffles.
Some other notes:
- Brett’s running waffle count: 4
- Our prediction for most likely to fall off a bike during the tour did not come true. Instead of Coach, it turned out that Henry Stevens and Eli were the ones who took spills on the cobble stone.
- Our prediction about Justin Winkler being the most likely security threat turned out to be fairly accurate. He was questioned thoroughly at customs, and underwent a pat down in a back room.
- Our prediction that Bo was the most likely to be mistaken for a coach also proved accurate when our bike tour guides presumed him to be the leader of the group
Here are a bunch more photos from the airport and our first day in Belgium:
We’ll check back in tomorrow with details from our trip to Bruges.
- Eli and Geoff (as always, photos courtesy of Mark Loper)