Hoya Alum in Brasschaat, Belgium. From left: Liz Maloy, Andrew Bumbalough, Maggie Infeld, Liam Boylan-Pett.
1. We went to the center city Basilica on July 9th (huge cathedral type church in which the old town is constructed around). It was beautiful, build around 1420 and had a bunch of stained glass. One of 22 in all of the Netherlands..
2. Gelato is good, they have it in the Netherlands (which I didn't know). I had it for the first time since landing in Europe today (there will be plenty more stops at this place). I decided on Pestatio and Hazelnut flavors. The ladies serving it were very nice and were surprised to hear english and even more surprised that we were from the United States (due to the fact that Hulst is such a small town.)
3. EVERYTHING here is in Dutch. I mean, I guess it makes sense because we are in the Netherlands. But I went into a bookstore today, hoping to find at least maybe a newspaper in English. Fail. Ha, It's cool that we are in a small town that is so authentic but it would be nice to be able to read a sign from time to time, or a menu, or maybe the labels on the back of the packages of food. While most everything is written in Dutch, almost everyone speaks English.. . EVERYONE rides bikes.
4. I made an omlette this morning and Michel (our host) was impressed with the size of it and the effort I was putting into making breakfast. I get the idea that breakfast in the Netherlands as well as Europe is more simple and smaller portions.
5. Ran on some trails on July 9th on the outskirts of the town. Went out and back for about 10k. It was built on a berm about 3 meters off the ground hundreds of years ago so that they could see the enemy coming from miles away. All you need to see long distances is 3 meters of elevation because this country is so flat. But also very beautiful.
6. We are in the 'suburbs' outside the town wall which hosts all the cool stuff, shops etc. we are only about a 5 min bike ride from there and I make the trip about twice a day to do food shopping and just to get a coffee or hang out. Luckily, we each have a bike to use but some of them are 'female bikes' which have a slanted bar rather than the straight across one. Consequently, when you are riding one of those as a male you get weird looks from people, especially the kids.. ha