Monday, October 1, 2012

In Bruges: A Horror Story

Alright. Story time.

 On the recommendation of several people, we decided to take a day trip to Bruges before heading over to Amsterdam. It's only an hour away from Brussels, so we figured why not?

Everything started out great. We got to Bruges, managed to store our luggage at the train station, and quickly rented bikes so that we could see more of the city in a short amount of time. The bike rental place suggested that we store our purses and jackets in the storage case on the back of our bikes so that while we ride we can keep our belongings safe. Angelina and I both decided to utilize this little case, as it made sense.

So we begin our bike journey through Bruges and it's absolutely gorgeous. It looks like what I imagined Brussels would look be - gorgeous old buildings, clean streets covered in cobblestones, all surrounded by gorgeous bridges and canals. We weren't even a mile into the city center when I reached over behind me to grab my water bottle out of my purse in my bike case. To my absolute horror - the entire bike case wasn't there. It had completely fallen off of my bike, and I had no idea where. I didn't see it or hear it fall at all.

Now, I am one of those paranoid people who keep everything important with them. I didn't trust leaving all of my treasured belongings in a locker at the train station, so my bag was stuffed full of my crap. My wallet, iPad, passport, train pass - everything. The only things I had on me were my camera that was slung over my shoulder and my iPhone that was stored away in my bra (fuck yeah bra storage.) Even the ticket to open the locker at the airport where all of our luggage was stored was in my bag. So not only was I completely screwed, but Angelina and Mark were as well. I have never ever been so afraid in my life. You would think I would be hysterical and crying out of sheer terror but on the contrary, I remained calm - I think out of complete and utter shock. I was literally living my worst travel nightmare.

I looked at my photos to see when the last time I had it was. Then we bolted through Bruges on our bikes, retracing everywhere we had been - and nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was about to have a complete breakdown when I saw it - right on the sidewalk, sitting upright on its own, being guarded by an older woman. Yes, this woman and her husband literally stood guard over my case. They said they knew someone had lost it and they didn't want anyone to take it, so they just figured they would stand guard until someone came to claim it. I burst into tears and hugged her until she couldn't breathe. I offered her some money but she refused.

Not one thing out of my bag had been stolen. I didn't even know there were people left in the world who were amazing enough to actually guard someone's lost belongings. My hope for humanity raised by like 150% that day.

Despite that whole fiasco, the rest of our day was actually quite lovely. We continued our bike journey around the city and enjoyed paninis in the city square. I'm absolutely amazed and ecstatic that our day (and my entire trip) wasn't completely ruined by my stupidity.

Honestly, my mediocre photos don't do Bruges justice. It was pouring rain the day we went and it was still mindblowingly beautiful. It would be a really great place for a honeymoon.

Enjoying my bike ride, post-losing my bag. As you can (kind of) see, the rest of the day I just wore it across myself. Screw the demon bike case.

Lesson of a day: don't be distracted by beautiful cities while on a bike because your brain will turn to mush and you wont realize that your fucking bike case fell off. Also, there are good people left in the world. Hallelujah.

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