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Tag: Brussels

IC Hamburg – Köln & ICE Köln – Brussel

Train route from Hamburg to Brussels, over Köln

My first leg of the journey was on an IC train. I’m not sure if it’s typical for this type, but it felt quite a bit older: lots of fake wood, actual curtains, no airconditioning… Next time I’ll try to make sure I only book ICEs!

And like it was on purpose, to rub in the fact that I had to cancel a large part of my trip, there was a ÖBB Nightjet waiting in Köln station!

The last leg was a proper ICE again, and even in seat 61! Perfect temperature, comfy seat, loads of space, and Komfort Check-in again! No clue how they actually check it, but every time I used it, they’ve always passed me by during ticket control.

Well, that was it, I’m almost back home! Hopefully next trip will be a bit longer again…

Off to Berlin!

Wait, what? Straight to Berlin? What happened to Wien and Budapest? Well… because Hungary suddenly closed its borders for tourists, I had to change my plans a bit. The sleeper train adventure has been put on hold for now, and on this trip I will only visit Berlin and Hamburg, meaning I’m going straight from Brussels to Berlin. I’m still keeping it classy though: first class tickets all the way!

As usual, I had to change trains in Köln, giving me the opportunity to quickly grab something to eat. Don’t be afraid to ask them to put your order in your own reusable packaging, even abroad! No time to grab my usual coffee in the coffee bar just outside the station, so a train coffee had to do… Really nice of Deutsche Bahn to serve it in proper cups, at your seat!

Now just a couple more hours of podcast listening—I was running behind a bit anyway—and enjoying the view, and I’ll be back in Berlin!

New tattoos!

So barely a year after I had my first tattoo, I decided to have another one! Well, it started as an idea for one, but it ended up becoming two separate ones… Another great job by Sara Stella Tattoo at Mystical bodies

So on the left calf I have a slightly improved version of the world scout emblem. I wanted it to look a bit more natural than the usual WOSM ‘logo’, but since the lily flower the fleur-de lis is based on actually rarely looks like the heraldic symbol, I decided to draw inspiration from one of those classic metal scout hat badges instead.

On the right calf the I have the clan crest of the Clan MacLaren, a clan very closely connected to the scout movement since its early days, and therefore ‘my’ clan, of which I proudly wear the tartan… The lion is a bit more lifelike than is usual in heraldic depictions. I also had a subtle reference to my favourite Scottish city—Glasgow—included in the design: the clan motto (Creag an Tuirc) is in a typeface based on one designed for the Willow Tearooms by famous Glaswegian architect, designer, and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Run, Martijn, Run!

So I started running just before the lockdown. I’m still not loving it, but it’s nice to see my times are gradually improving, as is my fitness level…

Prague Trip

And off we go! This time, a four part, eleven hour — but ridiculously cheap — train journey will take us to Prague.

Saint Patrick’s Day Cut

My barber — Bayer & Bayer — celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day as well: come in a kilt, and get a free haircut, beer and a whiskey. If that isn’t an offer I can’t refuse, I don’t know what is!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

kiltedguy:

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Saint Patrick’s Day, the only day each year I wear my saffron kilt. Although sometimes I get the question wether I’m Irish even if I’m wearing a kilt in a — to me clearly — Scottish tartan, most people associate any kilt with Scotland, and rightly so. 

But there certainly is such a thing as an Irish kilt, and saffron kilts have been around as an expression of Irish nationality for over a hundred years!

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The ancient Irish actually wore the léine, a linen tunic with voluminous sleeves and a hemline reaching the knees or higher, often dyed with saffron, which turned out quite yellow on linen. When there was a revival of Gaelic nationalism in the nineteenth century, the Gaelic League and the Gaelic Athletic Association — two major nationalist organisations, both concerned with Irish identity — wanted a ‘costume’ or national form of dress. The léine was considered to be too difficult to be updated to the fashions of the day, so they adopted the garment of their Gaelic cousins in Scotland: the kilt, dyed either green or saffron. Used on wool, the saffron dye gave it a bit more of an orange-brownish colour, the one we associate today with saffron kilts.

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The school uniform of St. Enda’s School for Boys (1908) included the saffron kilt.

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Nowadays the saffron kilt is mainly worn by pipers of Irish regiments, often without a sporran.

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Another year, another Saint Patrick’s Day, so enjoy it! 🙂 

I might share an updated photo later.

Off we go!

And off we go!
After having found our way to the temporary Eurostar terminal, the usual security checks, and a short wait, we boarded the train.

Haarlem Trip

When an e-mail with a special offer for a two person trip to the Netherlands arrived in our mailbox, we couldn’t let this opportunity slide. So just before the Christmas craziness and exam stress, we’re on our way to Haarlem. Even though the train only started its voyage in Brussels-Midi, it managed to depart in Brussels-Central with a fifteen minute delay…