Monday, July 5, 2010

Tour de Germany

In another hostel that doesnt do picture uploads.. Youll have to check my facebook for pictures.

04/07 Brussels Day 4

Today is the Tour de France and I’m crazy excited. In my hostel, I met a guy from China who lives in New York and a girl from California who lives in Spain who are both going to the race as well. I was excited I didn’t have to go alone. We stopped by a grocery store to buy some food cheaply so we didn’t have to buy expensive food at the event.

We started off at the tour picnic at the base of the atomium which is a national symbol for Belgium. There really weren’t many people there. However, when we turned the corner and saw the main stage and strip for the finish line, there were people everywhere. We took some pictures as we walked down the street to find a place to watch the race. We ended up standing 350 yards from the finish. There was a big screen close so that we could watch the race as we stood there for 3 hours protecting our spot.
Before the riders came in, there was a parade of sponsor floats, team cars, and buses. It was really cool to see that side of the tour de France that I never knew existed.
The glory of the finish was cut a little short when a wreck 1000 yards out caused a lot of the riders to go down. Instead of a huge finishing sprint, there were lots of riders limping across the finish line on their bikes. Some just sat on their bike while teammates on both sides pushed them across the finish.
We then walked to the podium and caught the awards presentation.

After the tour, I took a much needed nap before going out to the delirium village bar with the girl from California and 5 Colorado guys.

It was weird celebrating the fourth of july in Belgium. It made me really miss fourth of july parites at crossgates pool in Brandon. Im glad I got to experience the tour though. I think it was a fair tradeoff.

05/07 Brussels Day 5 to Munich

I packed up this morning and left the hostel heading back to the tour. I got to the Village around 11:00 and stood outside “The Shack” bus in hopes of catching a glimpse of Lance Amstrong. He finally walked out at around 11:45 and greeted the crowd. I took lots of pictures. After Lance got on his bike, I rushed to the starting line. I had to climb up a wall on the side of the garden of the grand palace to be able to see the race, but it turned out to be a great place to watch the race. It was very different from yesterday but still really cool.

I ran back by the hostel after the race to get my things before heading to the Brussels Train Station. I managed to catch the 2:30 train to Koln and will hopefully get to Munich around 9 tonight if all goes well.

The trains were a bit tricky in Cologne in that one arrived at 4:15 and my train out to Frankfurt was at 4:20, but I managed to make it without any problems.
On the train to Frankfurt, I had a mild freak out because I couldn’t find my Eurorail pass for about 5 minutes. Usually when I cant find something right away, I keep telling myself, “it’s a big backpack with lots of zippers, don’t freak out.” However, after I looked in the typical places and couldn’t find it, I freaked out a bit. I finally found it in the “Other” folder in my daypack. I also barely managed to get off the train in Frankfurt to get on the one in Munich. For some reason my change wasn’t at the Hbf or main station but at one just before the city. I noticed last minute that the name of the station matched the one on my timetable so I got off and then quickly on the train to Munich. I’m obviously a little tired and will be looking forward to a good night sleep in Munich when I get there.

I made it to Munich. The hostel is actually pretty nice. Gonna call it a night soon so Im well rested for meeting my class tomorrow.

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