When I finished my last post saying that „we are going on an adventure”, I had no idea how true this statement was going to turn out.
It all started last friday, with us in a taxi in a very crowded Bucharest, with me checking my watch every 10 seconds and with Diana saying „relax, we are going to get there on time” over and over again. And by some miracle, we got out of the huge traffic lines and we did. We did make it at Otopeni Airport in time to catch the plane that was going to take us to Brussels. Smiling we got out of the cab and made our way to the check-in desk. We were indeed running a bit late, but not more than usual.
„If you want to fly with us today, you will have to pay for the check-in. ” (Translated: You will have to pay more than the flight itself)
This was the first blow of the day. Yes, you read that right, there are more to follow. We did not do our check-in online, that is true, but we did not expect *this* amount of money for the check-in at the airport. We were shocked. No, we were more than shocked. I looked over at Diana, inhaling and said as calmly as I could. ” We can pay. It’s no problem, we got the money, we will go to the cashier and pay. We will be fine, everything will be fine. „
„Your return flight has been cancelled.”
This was the second blow. Before paying for the check-in, we did have the inspiration to ask about our return flight that was still unsure due to a huge national strike in Belgium. The airlines told us that our flight *might* be affected, but it was not sure. Apparently they decided now that it was. Well, I guess worse things can happen. I mean, an extra day in Belgium is not the end of the world, right?
„The only available flight back is on the 21st of december”
Aaaand here you have the coup de grace. Staggering back Diana and me looked at each other completely lost. This could not be happening to us. But it was. And as if it weren’t enough, we only had 5 minutes to decide, because our gate was closing in 15. And this is the moment where I thank God for the existence of smartphones and esky. While Diana talked to her mother on the phone, I managed to find a flight that was landing in Cluj tuesday. There comes that moment when we can choose between want we want to win and what we want to lose. So we decided we wanted to get the memories and lose the money for tickets instead of losing the memories and not having to get new tickets.
That said, five minutes later, we were running like crazy through the airport, heading to our gate, which ( Murphy, we do hate you) was the farthest one possible. Out of breath, we managed to finally get to the gate and board the plane.
Well, I daresay our weekend and quite an interesting start.
Stepping out of the shuttle bus and seeing Brussels for the first time was a dream come true. Brussels was and is amazing. Our first evening made up for everything we lived to get there. We met some of the ELSAnians from Germany and made our way together downtown looking up and admiring everything along the way. Bourse was beautiful and every single thing was spectacular.
The joy of seeing everyone made a day that I don’t know if it were to possible to go worse, end in the very best manner, talking and catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in more than two months, enjoying the goodies that Delirium Cafe had to offer.
I will not tell you more of this night, neither will I of the Christmas Cocktail, because, even though they were two absolutely amazing nights, they are mine, ours, for the keeping. Even though we were so many of us, they were so intimate, that telling them almost seems like I would pry on something. I was just overjoyed and ecstatic to finally see my girls again, whom, despite talking to them almost everyday, I missed terribly.
We had decided that Saturday, up until the Christmas Cocktail was going to be a day for visiting Brussels. So Diana and me, together with Jualian, set out, at morning to see what Brussels had to offer.
Escapade in Bruges
„I want us to go there. Everyone, especially Bea, told me it was beautiful!!” This was the start of a conversation I was having with Diana over some delicious Belgian waffles Sunday at breakfast. She smiled back and answered.
„Fine, how do we get there? Do we have any trains?”
„Of course we do, we just need to get to the train station” I smiled. When Bea told me that we had to visit Bruges, I had already wrote it down on my list. And this was one of those moments, where you just take your best friend, hop on a train and let it take you away. One hour later we were sitting in a train, that was windingly taking us to the little town of Bruges.
The excitement flowed all around us, and despite the weather, which was not really the warmest, we were incredibly happy.
Bruges was absolutely amazing. A little fairytale town, with tall and slim houses made of brick, with beauttiful Christmas decorations and Chritstmas markets and with people, tourits like us, or not, walking up and down its crowded streets.
” This feels just like Diagon Alley” Diana commented excited. And she was right. Yes, Bruges was a city of my liking.
At one point, after walking the beautiful streets of Bruges, hunger set in, and we had to go somewhere to have lunch. Waffles with Ice cream are not really the ost nourishing things out there. We settled for a little restaurant on a nearby street and went up to the top floor to get a table. The place, as you can see, was more than cozy, it had the most delicious food and the friendliest waiting staff, reason for which I just had to tell you about it, and advise you, if you ever go to Bruges, to go there.
Tuesday ,4 in the morning found us waiting at Etterbeek Gare Bus Station in Brussels. But with no bus. That was one thing we did not take into consideration, but it was ok, we were going to call a taxi. That was, until we couldn’t. No taxis were available. *Really??* As a last resort, we went to a gas station and asked a lovely clerk to help us. She did and we soon found ourself sitting in the back of a car, taking us to Brussels Midi, from where we would board the shuttle for the aiport. At 7.20 we were sitting in the plane. Smiling and relaxed we sank into our seats, with the headphones on our ears, music loud, gradually falling asleep and waiting to wake up in our beloved Cluj.
Woken up from terrible headache about three hours later I payed attention just in time to hear the captain say that we were not able to land in Cluj for the time being, and that we had fuel to fly over it about thirthy minutes in wait for better weather, and if we wouldn’t get it, we will have to land somewhere else.
I looked over at Diana, who had in the meantime dropped hear headphones as well, and as if on cue, we both started laughing. A pure, uncontrollable laughter, which probably made some of the passagers think we were crazy. But despite the heavy fog, God decided to have mercy with us and we landed in Cluj.
Upon setting foot on romanian ground, we could not help it, but feel relieved. We were ready for an adventure, but nobody gave us the terms and conditions to read before. Though probably, much like Bilbo, we would have gone anyway. So, yes, we were had been on an adventure. We were there, and back again.