I had a great summer holiday. And with a great summer comes a great hashtag. #travelswithbae seemed to do the job. Thank you readers, for reading, I hope you are up for the many pictures that lie ahead. Below I’ll talk about my time in Prague and Belgium. Ready? Lift off!
After last update (insert clickbait) we went to see the Prague school of buddies that Joke and I had spent a lot of time in Suzhou with (read, for instance, how we climbed China’s Yellow Mountain together exclusively in this post). So yeah, my Czech Suzhou roommate Jan, Helena and Misa were a big part of the year in China and hopefully will stay close friends for the rest of my life. In 2014, right before I went to Taiwan for a summer school, we went to visit them in Prague and I felt the time had come for a revisit, because Prague is beautiful, as this main view of the Charles Bridge (Karlův most) and Prague castle (Pražský hrad) shows.
Jan told us that Prague used to be composed of many different “cities of Prague”, as we strolled in Vyšehrad, one such a city on the other side of the castle. This church, which I like better, was at one point the scene for one of Jan’s friends and apparently they played Elvish music from Lord of the Rings while the bride was on her way to the altar.
Then, next, I should show pictures of the gardens you can visit in Prague. Going from the Senate garden to the Fürstenberg Gardens to some secret garden which was only marked in Czech so only the locals knew about it. It is also where I learned to say ‘two tickets’ for me and CJ in Czech: dva lístky. Notice also the two peacocks casually strutting through the gardens; some are just normal, others are white!
Being able to get two tickets was all very nice when you have a Czech person with you to deal with the Czech responses, but not when it’s just the two of you ordering dva lístky for the Jewish graveyard but not being able to understand a single slovo of what the ticket babička is trying to sell to you. Still, the Jewish part of Prague, Josefov, does leave a big impression on most tourists — the ones that are not too busy taking good social media pictures or chatting about their lives. It’s a bit like the Jewish monument in Berlin (see my post last year) where people assume it’s okay to make fun pictures between those stones. It is not. Okay, that’s out of my system. Here are beautiful pictures of the Jewish quarter.
Our trip in Prague was a bit short, just four days. It really was a #PraagseVierdaagse. In the remaining time we met up with Helena (thanks for the breakfast), did a blitz visit to Prague castle, saw the turning head of Kafka, thought we were in a French castle, and explored the lovely upcoming neighbourhood Jan lives in called Karlín. Thank you guys for spending time with us and showing us around!
Oh and to round up the part about Prague, here is an upside down Saint Wenceslaus:
And before you go to Prague, do not forget to check this youtube channel full of tips and tricks!
Coming to Belgium with CJ provided me with the opportunity to be a tourist in my own country. Apart from the beautiful landscapes and numerous activities that Loenhout has to offer, it was nice to just be back home and meet up with family and friends. I think I miss them more than before, as more time spent abroad passes. So seeing them makes me happy and I cherished the moments together.
We also went to Leuven, visiting the old alma mater, exploring the city (CJ has an unhealthy interest in begijnhoven), and of course, eating at De Werf.
See this picture above? I thought they were dementors the first time I saw them. Okay, well, I was drunk on my first night in Leuven but man, those things are scary. And it gets even scarier if you know that the whole Faculty of Arts is built on an old church site. There must be some ghosts still dwelling there and I bet they have many conversations with these two statues. Yuck.
We also went to Brugge (Bruges, 布魯日), a city any serious tourist of Belgium cannot fail to neglect. It also has begijnhoven, old towers, is called the Venice of the North and is just old in general. But beautiful.
And finally, in Belgium, we have Gent (Ghent, 根特) where I finally went to visit my friend Cedric’s PhD office at the University of Ghent. Thanks for the tour of the city!
Yes! You made it! We did it!
Next up is a retelling of a modern British classic, that is to say, our trip to the UK. Hope to see you there!