After overdosing on cheese in France, we drove north to Belgium. We climbed for a few hours at Freyr in Belgium..
After climbing we then went to rendezvous with the beautiful Belgium beauty queens we met on Mallorca Island. It was Soline's birthday and she was having a big party at her house. It was quite the reunion!
You people need to know what went down. Nomad is a berko nutbag. We can't take him anywhere anymore. He completely spooked all of our new friends. He went spookeye and disappeared early on in the evening. Soline (the birthday girl) found him up stairs in her bedroom with the lights off holding a pair of sissors. He had wandered through the house and found his way through her closed door.
This obviously concerned everybody and it was hard for us to explain to them that he is not a suicidal serial killer, especially since we were rather confused ourselves about this Nomad behaviour. Later on we noticed Nomads hair was a little shorter at the back. So there was nothing to worry about, Nomad just likes to cut his hair in peoples bedrooms, according to him a completely normal activity apparently.
Further on in the evening the Nomad disappeared a second time and didn't come back. All the girls were very concerned and Steve and we just assumed he was sleeping in a paddock inside his big wall bivvy. Wrong. Nomad striked again. The next morning he wandered out of Soline's parents room. He had found his way through another closed door in the house, luckily her parents were away on Holiday.
We had a lovely breakfast with the girls:
Then Ameile took showed us around Brussels.
It is a lovely town and the town icon is Manneken Pis. This statue of a child urinating is far more impressive than Eiffel tower of Paris. For the record, Belgium girls are all extremely wonderful and beautiful..
That evening we drove to Holland to stay with Beric's family for the next week. Beric's Oma (grandmother) is originally from Holland and Chris had never met any of his family there before, so this was special for him. We stayed with Ro and Corrie. They were lovely people and very hospitable. In Holland you are nobody unless you have a kick ass moustache like Ro..
Beric's great Uncle Yahn has it all! Has a good job in oil and gas, has like 5 houses in different countries, a gorgeous wife and children.. Maaan, we used to have it all, but now look at us.. Nomads washed up, Steve's a bum and Beric hasn't washed his hair in weeks..
Most of Holland is actually well below sea level which can be quite a problem with flooding. Some of the towns have big 15 foot mounds and lock gates for use in the event of floods, madness..
This is Beric's Great Great Aunty a.k.a the "General".. You don't want to mess with the General..
A few days later Nomad vanished again. This time he disappeared good and proper, all the way to Norway to meet the mysterious Norwegien girl/future Rosemary daughter in law.
We didn't mind, Holland is the flatest country in the world and there are no cliff to climb.. However, at the top of Holland they do have the biggest man made climbing wall in the world to make up for it. So we drove straight there, Nomad was missing out! This thing is called the excalibur, is super overhanging and 37m long.
To warm up we lead climbed the back of the tower which is an uba cheese grating Nomad slab. Next we both successfully climbed the overhang with out falling.. this was actually a real battle.. it still had nothing on El cap though.
When you lower off from the top you land about 10m out from the wall..
The gym next to the Excalibur was also amazing and probably the best climbing gym we have ever seen in the world. You can even climb on the walls of the outside of the gym..
Half of our week in Holland was actually spent in Belgium... you see we are some sort of driving nutbags and it seemed easy to just drive the 300km to another country for some reason. The first trip involved Ameile's Birthday party complete with an Australian style BBQ, an offer we couldn't refuse.
Mmm goon in a park..
We also got to see Liege and go to a concert with Beric's lovely friend Stephanie <3
Our timing wasn't the best to visit Amsterdam, turns out it was gay pride week, which featured the biggest gay parade in the world. This was slightly intimidating but we couldn't miss Amsterdam so we went anyway. We went straight to red light district, where we stayed for the next 5 hours. The adventure started with a cafe and space brownies which then led us into shifty hooker alleyways.
It was a mega tourist attraction, girls in windows trying to lure you into the open doors. Its just like window shopping. For the record, it's only 50 euro for a "f*ck and s*ck", Bargain! They had them to suit all fetishes too, all I remember is a scary alleyway full of highly voluptuous African-American women.
At one point we got trapped in a gay parade event. We thought it was a humorous scenario so we took a photo. Some gay guys overheard us laughing:
(gay guy) Hey he's making fun of us!
(gay guy 2) No he's not, he's clearly gay..
(Beric) You hear that Steve, they think you're gay.
(Steve) What, you're the one with the camera, they're talking about you!
We briefly wandered out of the red light district to Maccas, it was like being a vampire emerging from the shadows, the light burnt our eyes and we quickly retreated back to the red light district.
We found a line of people entering a shifty building so we decided to follow. Inside we witnessed several bizarre sex acts and the whole time staff were escorting random people from the crowd to unknown areas. This triggered all sorts of crazy paranoia. We eventually escaped to the street where it became clear that nothing was as it seems...
The grocery stores weren't really grocery stores. In one newsagent a customer ordered three chocolate croissants and left. We didn't see any baked goods being exchanged. Everyone had an agenda and pimps were pacing around on cell phones at each corner. Our scariest experience is when a black pimp in a trenchcoat followed us for like ten minutes. We lost him down an alleyway full of hookers. The pimps will bash you and take your camera if you take any photos in the red light district, so other than a few sneak shots that were shown above, this is all we have:
..you will have to use your imagination for the rest..
The next day we made a third trip to Belgium to see Stephanie and her sister Alex. We took Steph climbing and cooked dinner for her and Alex. We´re the perfect catch you see.
Stephanie has a beautiful house with a crazy basement, can`t wait to see you again soon Stephanie!!
Nomad returned to Holland and the three of us started driving to Croatia to stay meet more of Beric's family. Along the way we stopped fot two nights in Frankenjura, Germany.
The climbers here are old school and it was cold for us even in Summer. You´re nobody here unless you can do campus moves between one finger pockets. This climb was the first 9a (35) in the world, climbed by Wolfgang Gullich back in 1991, he was way ahead of his time!
Action Direct (9a)