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Saturday, 19 May 2001
Ghent --> Brugge (B)

Karen gave me a free train ticket from Ghent to Brugge, where I got stuck by the mass tourism here... Stayed with Annick and Jurgen the coming night.
In the little 4 square metres room Karen woke me up around 9.30 am. She actually wanted to wake up earlier to do some more studying, but the pillow-fight from last night had tired her down too.

After taking a shower in this student-home Karen settled Kellogs' Rice Crispies for me as breakfast, together with a cup of coffee. She read her emails on her computer while I packed my back, before leaving to the city trainstation.

Karen had to go back to her parents' place in Beveren, while I would be on my way to the next city on my journey: Brugge.

She insisted that I accepted her 'Go Pas', a discount card for students using the train, which had two free rides left on it. She got on the train to the east and I got on the train to Brugge, to the west.

"Brugge is Europe's best-preserved medieval city and Belgium's most visited town, this 13th-century 'living museum' was suspended in time five centuries ago by the silting of its river." - Lonely Planet about Brugge.

Only 25 minutes later I arrived in the tourist village Brugge, where the only language I heard for the first fifteen minutes was English.

It's too crowded with tourists here! As being one myself, I shouldn't complain about that too much, but most of those big elderly groups just walk step by step and only one mile per hour and only looking up, making photographs of everything and not caring about people wanting to pass them by...

Most of the tourists and from the UK and came here by boat from English Dover to Oostende, near the Belgian coast.

I made a mistake in trying to reach the center of the city by walking through little 1 metre width little streets untill I got surrounded by a group of Russian tourists. Not even walking!

Fortunately the weather is great again. The Brussel days where dry, but clowdy and very windy in the city. In Brugge it seems full summer now...

My next host Annick Goethals picked me up on the big market square in the centre of Brugge. She was walking with her boyfriend Jurgen and his family over the May Fair, an all month festival in town.

We took a wide walk on the forticifaction surrounding this ancient city to get to their the home of Annick and Jurgen, where the whole family drunk limonade and coffee.

As Annick and Jurgen already had a big family gourmet, Annick made me a cordon bleu with a lot of salads and vegetables for dinner!

Jurgen had to go to a meeting of his snooker club and also Annick was expected there. They told me it would be boring, so they offered me to stay at their home and watch some video from their collection, if I wantend.

I watched “Murder at 1600” which I remembered I had seen before, but it is a good entertaining movie after all. My feet did hurt a bit from the long walk on the fair grounds and my backpack was on all the time…

Their little house is over 100 years old and has no actual doors in it; for exampe: the two bedrooms are divided by a curtain.

The old lady that used to live here before Annick and Jurgen raised her 6 children here and lived her ‘till she got 90 and got placed into a care house for elderly. But she used to bath herself in a rain barrel outside in her back garden, everyday!

When Annick and Jurgen got home again, the movie had just finished and we all got to bed. I was still really tired, no idea why.