I’m in Belgium: Brugge to be exact (pronounced like Booger with an “r”). It seemed like a good place to spend Easter, with all it’s chocolate and wedding cake buildings. The Flemish are also very pleasant people; my usual interrogation of people at the train station was VERY easy (which is the best train to take? Where is a good place to eat? Tell me about some regional quirks / oddities. How exactly do I say “Brugge” in Dutch?)
I came by train… through the infamous Chunnel. I thought it would be some glorious tunnel, much like the Shark exhibit at Seaworld in San Diego with its glass walls and happy colourful fish swimming around. It is one of the wonders of the modern world and I figured it would be a spectacular man-made experience with blue disco lights or flashy as-you-go cams; much like driving across the bridge to Prince Edward Island or walking through the light passage at the Chicago airport.
Instead the Chunnel was like every other underground tunnel: dark, blurry and uneventful; and, when we entered France there was nothing signalling we’d just switched countries, other than the musical chirping of an entire car full of cell phones being welcomed to France. It was the same for Belgium: there was no geographical or man-made indicator that we’d just switched countries, just more chirping, beeping, and cell phone singing.
Still, I’m in Belgium and there is A LOT of chocolate. I’ve never seen so much chocolate… Willy Wonka would be given a run for his money.