I bought a ticket for Bruges on the Thalys train. By some lapse in judgement, I booked a departure of 6a.m., thinking that I would be awake before 6a.m. When I realised the unlikelihood of catching the train, I paid to get my ticket changed to 8:22a.m., which is MUCH more reasonable. Well, I reached two minutes after that left and so I had to go across to the ticket booth, take a number, and pay for another ticket (1/2 price but STILL) for 9a.m. There were no seats available, so I ended up sitting close to the baggage. It wasn't all bad - the seats were comfortable and I had loads of leg room. I also had a nice conversation with an Argentinian dude who was on his way to Lyon. Naturally, I forgot his name. I got off at the Brussels station and waited the short time for the next train to Bruges. Which was a whole other level of pretty.
I had lamb fillet with ratatouille and potato au gratin at a tea house and it was the best meal I had on the entire trip.
This picture below was part of an old beguine community. These were pious single women who did charitable work without taking vows. They don't exist anymore but the area is still used to house single women.
This was towards the exit of the town. I forgot who the statue was dedicated to, but the flowers were pretty.
I sat next to an old man on the way back (I made it on the train in time!) who told me that Ghent is worth visiting the next time I am on that side of the globe. I've looked at pictures so I will take his suggestion.
I reached Amsterdam at 11p.m. I prepared for this, having found the best route out in the main street from the closest tram stop (there was no way I was walking the 40 mins from the Centraal Station to my hotel at that hour). This route allows me to pass through Spui (pronounced like 'spout' without the 't'), which is a junction with a square in the middle.
In front of me were two youths - probably late teens or early 20's. Who were obviously high. Why do I say that? Oblivious to an incoming black car, boy #1 got on a bike. He rode shakily on the bike path on the side of the street, laughing like an idiot. Boy #2, also giddy with joy, jumped on boy #1's back. The bike, overwhelmed by the level of stupid, tipped over and deposited both boys into the street in front of the car's path. The car swerved and stopped. The driver stuck his head out to see what was going on. Both boys were still lay on the street in a fit of giggles. They didn't even acknowledge the car's presence. OH. MY. GOD. If I had any illusions about playing the brave lass and trying some not-so-contraband-there-brownies from the store a few buildings down (there was a sign by the cashier that said, "Weed brownies, 3 euro, yummy!" I'm trying to remember if it was 3 or 6 euro right now.) by myself, the fear of being found face down in the canal seemed like a strong possibility from seeing those idiots.