Nearly three years ago, my German friend Mia and I decided to go on a road trip together. Long story short, we picked up Harry in a bar, and Mia’s roommate Kate, and the four of us embarked on a pretty epic journey along the west coast of Canada and the USA, then back up through the canyon lands and the Rockies. We were all stuck in my tiny little 2 door Civic for 25 days, lots of shenanigans were had, needless to say.
We had met up once more in Canada for a mini road trip before we all went our separate ways (Kate back to Australia, Mia to Germany, Harry to South America, and myself to Asia), and now we got to meet up again a third time in Europe. Ideas started forming when Kate messaged us all in December saying she was planning a trip to London and that she could come visit us all while she was here. It’s quite easy and cheap to travel within Europe so of course we were going to plan something cool.
So, a month and a half later, Kate showed up in Belgium and more shenanigans commenced. Over three days we showed her around Bruges and Ghent, and then embarked on our third road trip. We drove from Deinze to Düsseldorf, where Mia lives with Chris, and since I slept a lot of the way it seemed like a pretty quick drive to me, but really it was about 3 hours. In Canadian terms, that’s not bad or particularly long at all, but in European standards we seemed to have done the impossible.
We walked around Düsseldorf that evening and got some poutine for dinner (yes poutine, and it was great), then went out for a drink or two to try German beer. Can’t say I particularly like it (I’m being too Canadian- I dislike it a lot), but I still enjoyed tasting the difference between Belgian beer.
The next morning we started the day with a very healthy breakfast, provided by Mia. She then had a pregnancy consult with her new midwife (I believe I mentioned in my last post about her that she’s pregnant), and afterwards we jumped into the car and drove for two hours to go see some epic castles. And I must say, they were pretty impressive. The first one more-so than the second I think, it is called Eltz Castle. You can get some really good views of it from different viewpoints, and I could see it being very touristy in the summer but while we were there it was very quite and closed for inside tours. Perfect for us because I was also doing some pregnancy photos of Mia, much easier to do them without crowds of people.
After wandering around for a while, we drove to another nearby castle to check it out before we went home for dinner. At Eltz castle we weren’t allowed to fly our drone, but here there were no signs saying otherwise so we did snap a few shots while we were there. There was nobody at this castle anyway so it was all ours.
We drove to Cologne to grab a bite and check it out, and we ended up getting some delicious Thai food for a pretty decent price. We then walked around and I got to see the magnificent cathedral for a second time. It is still under construction from the last time I saw it a year and a half ago, but I think that’s normal due to it’s grand size. We had parked outside of the centre to avoid the craziness and high parking fees, so we hopped on a bus to get back to the car. The bus ate one of my euro coins, it was sad. Then it ate the next ladies coins as well. The bus driver wasn’t particularly nice about it and actually told the lady to get off because she couldn’t buy a ticket (I guess she ran out of change?). What a jerkface.
Anyway, we made it home safe and sound, and the next morning enjoyed another healthy breakfast. We drove to these ruins Mia took me to last time for her post-wedding photos, we we decided we’d take some more photos there. It was completely closed off, maybe due to the flooding that was happening lately, but we weren’t going to listen to any signs. We jumped the gates (shh) and had the whole place to ourselves, it was perfect. We spend maybe 45 minutes taking photos and no one bugged us. Kate and Harry played assistants and they were wonderful, I’d hire them any day. Chris played husband and baby daddy very well, and obviously Mia was a great model as always.
We grabbed some sushi for lunch, I had been craving it forever. It’s one of the things I miss the most about Vancouver. Here it’s always quite pricy, but still worth it once in a while. I could actually go for some sushi right now.
After sushi, we said our goodbyes to Mia and Chris. Our stay was too short but it was very sweet indeed. Another 3 hours on the road and one fry stop later, we made it back to Deinze. The next morning Kate left us for London, where she is now working for the next little while. Hopefully another road trip will commence between us this summer, with the addition of a little one.
Now to a completely different, but much shorter, story, two days ago Harry and I were in Antwerp checking it out with Harry’s aunt Saskia. She lives there so she took us around town a bit just so we could get to know what it’s like. It’s right on the water and has a big harbour and even a beach, which is supposedly much nicer in the summer. We got to see the big shopping street, the grand main train station, and some little antique shops. I actually found an absolutely glorious camera that I’m still dreaming about in one of them, an antique Kodak Reflex. Beautiful thing, wish I bought it. I’ve got some film I can modify so I could actually use it. And only €40 ($60CAD), not too bad. Thinking about it now I’m a bit regretting not buying it, so I may have to make a trip back to Antwerp.
Anyway, that’s all for now, folks. Leaving for India in T-24 days!