Brussels: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

Hi! Welcome to Blog #5!
Sorry this is late again – life in Nijmegen is SO busy, the weeks all roll into one!

Last week started off with a nerve-wracking meeting with our placement schools. I managed to survive the journey alone to my school and was pleasantly surprised to see lots of farms with large, flat fields on the bus journey there and back. There were even some tractors along the way (Not a TM in sight though… Disappointing) so I was very excited to tell Mark that I might get to see some first cut silage after all, even if it is in a different country!

On Wednesday, we were back at university to be the students again for our holocaust module. We ended up having lunch with some of the Dutch students from the class, and were having such good banter that Erin had left for the gym and was back home again before Rachel and I had even thought about coming home. We cycled home in a panic thinking Erin might eat a small child if we didn’t get home to get the tea on!

On Thursday, Erin ventured off to the gym again (I think the chocolate addiction guilt is beginning to set in) so Rachel and I decided to do our own type of exercise – shopping. While wandering around one of the big supermarkets, we found the cutest chocolate eggs that put me in mind of Big Steve’s famous free range eggs! Not sure how good an omelette they would make though! After such strenuous exercise, we rewarded ourselves with some coffee, until we again realised Erin was home from the gym and was probably undoing her hard work by eating ridiculous amounts of Lidl chocolate, so

off we headed home.

On Friday, the university kindly put on a class trip to Brussels, Belgium to visit European Parliament. Not so kindly however, we had to be at the bus stop for 7.30am which we surprisingly made on time as Erin was determined we weren’t going to miss the FREE BUS!! So off we set for the 3 hour journey, armed with Netflix, Spotify and enough toffifee to feed the whole bus, kindly provided by Ellis (our English friend).

Photo 10-03-2017, 09 09 12
We finally arrived to Parliament and were given snazzy devices with earpieces for a DIY guided tour in our own languages. You’d honestly have thought we were about to do backup singing for Beyoncé the way we were getting on. The tour was very interesting, and I even noticed a familiar face in Diane Dodds, a local politican from Banbridge, which made it all feel very useful.

After lunch, we had to take part in a role-play game where we were allocated to a political party and got a ‘day-in-a-life’ experience of what MEP’s get up to in a day. We experienced press conferences,  speeches, topical research, discussions and negotiations which was all very fun but SO EXHAUSTING! I think it’s safe to say … Politics is not for me!

We headed into the city centre with our whole class, grabbing plenty of selfies along the way thanks to Valantia – our greek selfie queen!!

After a while, we broke off from our class and went to see the famous Manequinn Pis and of course, the combination of chocolate addicts and the city of chocolate and waffles, we had to try them out…

After all the excitement of that day we were glad to see our AirBnB, we were so glad to see somewhere to put our feet up for a while!

File 20-03-2017, 22 13 03#canthackthepace

After granny Rachel got a wee power nap, we finally went out for dinner and a wander around Brussels with our Erasmus gals Sarah, Annie and Ellis. The restaurant didn’t take it too well when we decided to start rearranging tables because we wanted to sit together, thankfully we had Sarah (our swiss friend) who speaks French to explain and order for us. My third year French doesn’t quite measure up! We also paid a visit to the delirium – a hidden gem of Belgian culture with crowded streets of people having the craic, over 3000 beers on offer and some rare crators to people watch that appeared to have tested all 3000 beers that night.

On Saturday, we went to a chocolate museum (YES IT WAS AMAZING) and Erin nearly died when she saw you could take as many free samples as you want… How that wee girl hasn’t got diabetes is beyond me!

We  went for lunch and got a mitraillette which is a Belgian chip butty complete with two burgers inside – AMAZING. Thank goodness we had Annie (our legendary German friend) as our tour guide – (even though she had never been to Belgium either) who is so on the ball with her maps and sense of direction. Unlike Rachel, who thought Poland was the capital of Germany. After a great day touring about, we started the 3.5 hour bus journey home to Nijmegen and collapsed into bed! Brussels was such a beautiful city.

Brussels:

Have a great week!
Naomi x

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