TAILS OF A TRAVELLING CAT
Greetings, humans! Charlie is currently writing Part 1 of today’s entry for me on the train from Brussels to Luxembourg and is complaining the movement of the train is ruining the writing. But I want to pass the time so write it now we shall. We woke up early with the plan of visiting De Gooyer windmill (this is Holland, after all) before the train to Brussels. Sadly, without a day card, it would have been too expensive to visit it, so instead we headed to Amstelpark, conveniently located close to Amsterdam Zuid, our first station. In Amstelpark, there was a windmill, but it wasn’t until we arrived in the park that we discovered the windmill was at the very furthest end of the park. Without time to explore (I was very disappointed, I love windmills), we wandered the park, found some lovely pink flowers and headed to Zuid.
We took a train back to Schiphol Airport for our second train to Brussels. Train connections at an airport? I was confused too. We boarded the train to Brussels Midi/ Zuid although I’m not sure why it has two names – maybe for the different languages spoken in Belgium (Flemmish Dutch, French and German). We enjoyed some wonderful views although the humans were too slow to capture them on film, or pixels in this modern age. The Dutch and Belgian countryside was very beautiful, although lacking visible cats and pink things. In the cities, towns and villages there were lots of churches, and we even saw a few windmills, if only we could have explored them!
The train arrived in Brussels nearly half an hour late, but we made the most of our two hours here. Lunch of granola and yoghurt with banana sauce was purchased from Greenway and consumed in an unnamed green area next to a statue of a horse and foal. We then found a castle type building on Google Maps and decided to visit it. Hallepoort was huge, looked like something Count Dracula would live in and had three cannons outside it. As translated by Charlie from the French and Dutch information board, Hallepoort was built in the Middle Ages when Brussels was a fort town. The number 14 (possibly the 14th Century) was involved, the fort was turned into a prison, Neo-Gothic architecture happened (possibly a renovation) and today it is a museum. Please don’t employ Charlie as a translator.
After ten minutes which could almost be called relaxing in the metaphorical if not literal shadow of the giant Dracula house, we headed back to the station, got slightly lost, found our way again and chose our platform. The Luxembourg train arrived and we boarded.
The journey is three and a half hours, maybe the humans will relax… once Charlie has finished writing this! See you in Part II. Chesh.
Alright everyone, I’m back for Part II, hope you didn’t miss me too much. But you did miss me, right? I’m penning this part of my adventure as I sit on the windowsill of a second storey apartment with Charlie gazing out onto the road and trees of a small street five minutes’ walk from Luxembourg station. Let me relate to you how I got here. Although as we write a plane is flying over (we are fairly near the airport) and so I may be distracted.
So, as I left you at the end of Part I, we were flying south on the Luxembourg train, zooming like flying pigs through the Belgian countryside. We travelled through a fair bit more Belgian countryside. Turns out, Belgium has a lot of countryside. Oh, now may be a good time to point out I’m still wearing my Koningsdag flowers, mostly because they are very stylish and I’ve grown to like orange. Not quite as good as pink, but close enough. I’ve been distracted again and a plane didn’t even fly past.
Belgian countryside. Lots of it. There’s also a lot of wooded areas with babbling brooks running under the train tracks which are supported high above them. I never knew I could write something so poetical. Anyway, what felt like much quicker than the three and a half hour journey, we crossed the border and entered Luxembourg, the country not the city. Now may be the time to explain, everything in Luxembourg is called Luxembourg. The old town of the capital is called Luxembourg City, but as far as I can work out, also just called Luxembourg. The area outside the old town (the rest of the capital) is just called Luxembourg, as is the train station and the airport. If you’ve now seen the word Luxembourg written so many times in this account of Luxembourg and how things are named in Luxembourg and you’ve now started to lose focus on Luxembourg as a real word, don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Oh, I’ve tangented again. We entered Luxembourg (the country), passed some stunningly beautiful towns and countryside as well as some commercial building which had Lux, .lu websites or Luxembourg flags adorning them to announce are arrival in this uni-name place. Either they decided to have a theme and stick to it, or someone was incredibly unimaginative. In no time at all, we arrived at Luxembourg (the station, just outside the city). The rain that we’d managed to avoid for a day and a half began to come down, getting harder as we walked to our AirBnb, the aforementioned second floor apartment. I am severely displeased, how dare these water droplets fall from the sky when I’m around!
Soon we made it to the AirBnb and with barely time to relax, the humans took me out to dinner in Luxembourg (the city). It may still have been raining but Luxembourg (the city) was stunningly beautiful. Full of ancient and slightly less ancient architecture, this area was beautiful. Disclosure: when I say ancient, I don’t mean that in the historical sense, but in the sense of bloody old (Medieval). Tomorrow I shall read some tourist guides helpfully left for us in the AirBnb and inform you exactly how old they are. We crossed a bridge over what I assume was once a moat (dry or otherwise) but now had cars and other modern things in it (good, no water) where we looked down a very long way, then entered Luxembourg (the city). We were surrounded by these beautiful buildings (on which, more tomorrow when we begin exploring in full). Within 20 minutes of leaving the AirBnb, we were at our restaurant for the night, Beet. Burgers and falafel were on offer and despite having burgers last night, the humans tucked in again. Charlie ordered the aubergine burger (burger with pesto, aubergine, cream cheese and tapenade sauce) and Jack had a sweet onion burger (burger, andalouse sauce and onion chutney) and a raw cacao milkshake. Both burgers were served with huge bowls of chips and side salad. The food was amazing and the humans happily added pudding to their meal. Charlie had a moelleux au chocolat (hot, melt in the middle pudding) and Jack had clafouti with apple (apples in batter) both served with coconut ice cream. Needless to say, both humans thoroughly enjoyed their puddings, remaining in the restaurant to digest their food. We walked back through Luxembourg (the city) to the AirBnb in Luxembourg (almost the city) near Luxembourg (the train station) for a well-earned shower and rest.
Well, I’m off to sleep as well. Goodnight, folks and see you all tomorrow. Chesh.