The Article that Funded my Trip to a Black/Death Metal Festival in Belgium is Up

You can read it here.

At the last minute, we decided that I would write an article about why students at my university who will be studying abroad through our sibling schools program should consider Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. However, I did take two trips to Gent and Brussels while in Belgium and did some cultural/aesthetic sight-seeing, so I was perfectly equipped to write an article about why you should go to Belgium/what there is to do in Belgium. But if you are interested in reading about my trip to Belgium, I have a blog entry about it here.

A Very LONG Weekend in Belgium

For the last week, I’ve been trying to finish a detailed blog entry I am writing about my actual creative process and advice on how to bring out the creativity in yourself when you are feeling all “dried out” when it comes to ideas. It’s been a bit difficult, because I’ve realized that there is nothing constant about my creative process. I don’t write every single piece in the same exact way and it really depends on the situation. But I’m still working on that and I hope I will have it up next week.

In the meantime, I had a very long weekend in Belgium, which also took time away from my study, writing, and blogging projects. . .but I needed a short holiday. Originally, I wanted to go on this trip to see my friend from Norway, bassist of Carpathian Forest, Daniel Vrangsinn; my friends Serpenth and Helmuth of Belphegor; and both of these bands performing (again) before I left Europe for a full year. However, a trip to Belgium from the Czech Republic–especially to a rather remote town like Kortrijk-Kuurne, where there are no hostels–would be really expensive. I ended up writing an article about living in Czech Republic for my university and sending them some photos from my travels, and they liked my article so much that they sent me $500 for this trip under the condition that I write another article about Gent and Brussels–where they also have sibling schools.

Well, that trip was this past weekend. I have no photos to share from the festival, because I was too busy socializing with people and headbanging to take very good photos. I ended up meeting some Belgian friends of Daniel’s and my friend, Paal, also from Norway, flew in. I also hit it off really well with Nattefrost and Terje (Tchort). My conversations with Nattefrost that night–like when I talked with his very good friend and collaborator, Nordavind, were very philosophical, raw, and honest in nature. I can always count on an interesting conversation with the guys of Carpathian Forest. And well, I lived with Dan Vrangsinn for 2 weeks. We’ve had all sorts of conversations haha!

I made faces at Serpenth, a former relation of a sort, during the Belphegor soundcheck. He seemed surprised to see me for some reason. . .

Both the bands I came for and the opening bands put on great shows. My only complaint was that someone really messed up the P.A. After the show, I was kind of waiting around for the Belphegor guys to show up because it’s been two years since I’ve talked to either of them in person. (It’s really been two years since I went to visit them at their rehearsal house and I was living in Austria! I can’t believe how time flies. . .I feel like I’ve always been living in Austria sometimes.) I never saw Serp again after the show, but Helmuth appeared eventually at his band’s merch booth and I went over to say hi. It was nice to catch up with him in person and to see that he is doing well. As many of us metal fans know, he was very sick with Typhus last year from Belphegor’s South American tour and he very nearly died. As a fellow Sagittarius, I can imagine that it was difficult for him to sit around for a full year and purposely resign himself from doing what he loves and achieving his goals. Sagittariuses are very driven, passionate, but quiet and reclusive people–and I get that vibe from him very strongly.

On Sunday, I spent the day partially in Gent and partially in Brussels. I didn’t really do any tours or see any sights. I just wanted to walk around and take as many pictures of the architecture and historical sites as possible. Both Gent and Brussels are beautiful cities. Unfortunately, it was raining on and off all weekend. It was also much colder in Belgium compared to the very comfortable 25 degrees we had in Brno when I left.

Here are some photos from Gent:

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And here are some photos of Brussels:

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