17 July 2011

A day off

A free ticket, first class for one day? Sounds good to me.

The NMBS (railwayservice here in belgium) had given all its customers, who had a subscription in a certain period this year, a first class free ticket for one day any trajectory. I was lucky enough to have had a 3 month subscription in that period, so I got one of them golden tickets. Most people will probably use it for a long trip to the sea and back. But I figured, lets exploit this as best as I can.. legaly.

So I planned a small trip through Belgium. Around 5:45 in the morning I took the bus to my first train station. Londerzeel. Lovely place, and very "classic" in the way of being a station. From there I took my first train, which went to the coast. "Zeebrugge strand". The beach was alright and the temperature soothing. But the town itself had, besides some fun architecture, nothing to offer. I only noticed one shop where you could buy something.

On the beach itself I saw a few people measuring, what I imagine to be the amount of sand available. They were really into it, placing little sticks inthe sand with markers on it. They even had a cool golfcart sorta car to drive them all over the place.

A bit further there was one lost shoe half covered in sand, waiting for a new master. Though I fear it might get lost under all the sand. Before I left the beach I grabbed a small sample of sand and put it in a plastic transparent "Hello Kitty" container. My next stop was the complete opposite side of the country, about 150 kilometers in land.

Or as we like to call it "d'ardennen". Though I only went as far as "Namen/Namur" Which on itself was a nice place, lovely station and an ok town. On this journey I tried to pick up two "geocachings" on the road. One was in Namen, but I didn't find it at first and a lack of time prevented me from searching thoroughly.

After that the next train brought me to Li├Ęge-guillemins. Let me tell you, that station was the best I have ever seen in my life and might as well be the best I'll ever see. It was so futuristich, modern, smooth, light, open and just plain amazing. If I could I'd take it home with me and place it in my garden I would.

In the background of the photo you might see two big constructions. Those are monuments for victims of war, probably the world wars. I didn't really check the history. But that was the location for my second geocach I was checking out today. Luckily I was able to find this one.

But the treasure itself wasn't the biggest fun, the real awesomenes came from the location itself. Right now they've started to renovatie the monument, but most of the area is still covered in weeds, plants and general "I look post apocalyptic". Going from a hypermodern trainstation to regular city, to postapocalyptic scenery made the entire trip worth while.

After forcing myself to leave this awesome place I continued my journey. I went to Hasselt, which wasn't that spectacular for me, continued to Leuven and then to Veltem where I crashed at Lieven and Carla's place. Which was togheter with some food, entertainment, a nice drink and company a nice ending of the day.

In the end I travelled all through the country in first class, saw an amazing bunch of cool locations and had a good time, all for free thanks to that special trainticket.

PS: If I had paid for all that it would have cost me 87,60 Euros or 123,81 US dollars

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