Thursday, 16 July 2015

Belgium: Brussels+Antwerp

This Trip: FROM 2015.07.11 TO 2015.07.12

One weekend is perfect for a trip covering both cities in the tiny Belgium. It takes about 45 minutes by train from Brussels to Antwerp. Round-trip tickets for two cost only EUR17 at weekends. We chose Antwerp over other cities, because we are leaving Bruges and Ghent, which are on the same train line towards the Northwest, for another weekend trip in the future. 

Both cities are pretty, but the travel experience wasn't as good as expected. Shops open late, intercity trains as well as metro in Brussels are so old, and worst of all, counters at metro stations open only from Monday to Friday, and so tourists without enough coins have to purchase tickets using credit card on automated machine that does not accept bills.

Belgium is one of the European countries where we expect some deliciousness. I didn't realize there were these different kinds of waffles - Liege Waffles, Brussels Waffles, and also the Waffines, the one available only in the chain Waffle Factory. All three are phenomenal, but I would say the Liege Waffles in Amsterdam are just as good. Next, it's the Belgian Fries with a good selection of sauces that anyone would savor, but some might want to order one to share, as options for size S and M are unavailable. Last and the best, moules-frites is a must-eat. It's a big pot of mussels cooked in your choice of sauce served with some fries. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

England South West Coast Path

This Trip: 2015.07.04

South West Coast Path, Dorset, England:

Lulworth Cove + Stair Hole → Durdle Door → White Nothe → Osmington Mills → Weymouth

Trains from London Waterloo to Wool run every 1 hour and the journey lasts 2.5 hours. From Wool railway station there is the bus 103/104 that runs twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. I do not recommend anyone to rely on this bus. Have the phone numbers of the local taxi companies (Garrison Cars and Silver Cars) ready for your own good. It takes 12 minutes by taxi to reach Lulworth Cove, the starting point of the route. Fare should be around £16. 

This route is almost 20km long, one of the longest among all suggested routes on the South West Coast Path. With lots of photographing moments but not any long pauses, it took us 6.5 hours from start to finish. After reaching the end point of the path in Weymouth, we took a bus nearby to go to the town center.

For the level of difficulty, it can be hard to tell. I would say I got tired because of the distance, not the how strenuous the hike was. There are a few steep ascending sections but really not all the way long. If I can make it, everyone else can (the elderly excluded).

For the beauty, it is considered the most beautiful section of the South West Coast Path. That's true, partly. There aren't really any nice views after White Nothe. For those who want to skip Osmington Mills and Weymouth, again, you will have to call a taxi to drive you back to Wool, or west to Weymouth.