It's closing in on Christmas, and I have just been on my my final weekend trip to Brussels this year. This highlight of this trip was the opening of the annual Christmas Market in downtown Brussels, as is the annual tradition on this first weekend of December. As usual I got on a flight there right after work on Friday, and being tired from a week at work I headed straight to Carina's apartment in Ixelles when I arrived in the evening, leaving the fun of exploring the markets for the next day.
Entries in category: The Travel Channel
After leading the busy life of a globetrotter for a good while now, the past month has been comparatively quiet. It has also been my first taste of mostly everyday life with a job every morning and nothing but dinner on my regular schedule every night.
Thats not to say I haven't been doing anything of course, there's been plenty of stuff to fill my nights, just nothing very out of the ordinary. Most notably my girlfriend Carina has been visiting for more than a week, so we've had several dinners with her family at our place, their place and most notably at the Pakistani restaurant Haveli at Skøyen. A real treat for the tastebuds :-)
Also I've spent a weekend visiting Carina in Brussels, but I wasn't feeling well, so other than a little shopping downtown we spent most of the weekend hanging out in her studio apartment, with me reading Joseph Hellers "Catch-22". Oh the irony... but a good book nonetheless.
For my next trip to Brussels I were taking Friday off and staying until Monday, making it a long weekend, as we were getting a rental-car and driving south to visit the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and to eat more waffles of course!
As usual I left with the airport express train directly from work, this time on Thursday afternoon, and as usual the SAS-flight were delayed so it got quite late before I finally arrived. Also as usual I spent the waiting time reading a classic novel, this time having selected the dystopian "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, a very gripping story about war, ethics and human nature.
This weekend was the annual company fall-excursion, but I was instead going to back to Belgium to visit my girlfriend Carina. Most of the others left the office for the excursion just after lunch on Friday, so there were only a few people besides me there for the rest of the day. However we still managed to gather a small group to have a game of CX Darts, a weekly dart-competition with bottles of wine for the winners, and with so few contestants it was 50/50 odds, so I managed to take home a bottle before having to catch my flight to Brussels.
Saturday 16th: Sis visiting and nightlife at Havana club
This semester my sister is studying in Rotterdam, Holland, and as had already been there for a month she wanted to come and visit as soon as we had gotten Carina's apartment in order, so around noon we went down to meet her at Brussels Central station. To show her the sights we did another tour of Grand Place and the surrounding area, but we also checked out Place de St.Catherine and Place de St.Gery where none of us had been before. Also we tried taking the bus back to Carina's place, which due to all the cobblestones was a horribly bumpy ride. We were meeting the Americans and some more BSIS students out a bit later, so after a trip to SuperGB where I stocked up on beer that I would bring back to Norway we readied ourselves to go out and tried a couple of the new beers that I had bought. When ready we got ourselves a cab and went to pick up Keisha (from Bahamas) and then straight to Havana Club where we met up with Mari (from Japan) and a bunch of Americans and had a blast! However the place was too packed so after a while we walked over to see some more bars in the area around Grand Place. There were lots actually, but most were the really awful tourist-trap kinds of places so it was a bad call to go there.
And then we headed out on another journey. Early Sunday morning Carina's mom drove us to the airport express train, and not long thereafter we were in the air on our way to Brussels, capital of Europe.
After getting off the plane we started following the exit signs at the airport, and after a while we started wondering how far away it actually was. It turns out that from the most distant gates where the planes from Norway are located, it is nearly a 3 kilometer long walk along rollers to the exit, and along the way you must take escalators up and down a total of 8 floors, so it can easily take half an hour or more just to get out of the airport, not counting the time you have to wait for your luggage! But eventually we did get out, and as the walk had worn us out and we had lots of luggage, we just hailed a cab to take us to the B&B where we would be staying the next couple of days.
And then it was back on the road again...
Carina and I got up early and caught the morning flight to Oslo were Carina's mom picked us up from the Airport Express train in Asker. After a short stop at their house I had my car kick-started (the battery was flat from beeing unused all summer) and headed to Skøyen to see the apartment that would perhaps be my next home. At 48sqm and quite smartly laid out it is good and spacious and it is located perfectly with less than 10 minutes travel-time both to work and to the city center. On the downside it was not exactly in tip-top shape, but as I will be living by myself for the next year and the rent beeing acceptable it will do for now, so I signed the lease and got the keys.
After a long and tiresome journey it was finally time to unpack my bags and relax in the comforts of home. When dinner time were approaching I were sent to pick up my Grandmother at her house as she was joining us, and also to run some errands on the way as well. Since I would be gone a while Carina joined me and we went shopping a bit for ourselves as well. I also took the opportunity to stop by Kanebogen Mall and say hi to my best friend Tom-Inge who are currently working at Telehuset there. For my welcome-back dinner, my mom had prepared one of my favorite meals: an eastern inspired mango-chicken curry-casserole. Yum!
And then, all of a sudden on this Sunday morning, summer was over and people started going home to Norway, so it was also the time for goodbyes. My flight were scheduled very early on Monday morning, so to have an easier time getting to the airport then we arranged it so that I drove Carina to the airport when she left at noon on Sunday. In return I got to keep the car for an extra day so I could take myself comfortably to the airport the next morning.
When she had left I went home and started packing up all my own stuff, and despite having bought an extra 120 liter suitcase I almost couldn't fit everything! It must have been those 30 new t-shirts I've gotten myself...
After an excessive amount of partying lately it has been getting increasingly harder to get up and go to work in the mornings, but I had to get up this Friday too since summer is almost over and there was going to be a goodbye lunch with the entire company for all of us interns, so I managed to get up and go to work this last day of the week as well. When the day started nearing noon all the employees were rounded up and for once we went out with everyone present, but found that the first choice of restaurant for our lunch had been closed, so we ended up going to the Persian restaurant Shalizaar instead. We ordered served a variety of Kabobs and other really good Persian-style food, plus we got to have some fun with Samir with his glass of "doogh", a very peculiar tasting Persian drink made from yogurt, water, mint, salt and pepper served on ice...