So we woke up on Monday at 4am to grab our taxi to the airport. I’d been feeling better but that morning I was very sick, though thankfully I was able to not yak in the very very posh taxi. Anyway, we got to the airport and caught our plane no problem (it departed around 6am). They did the flight safety speech and all the announcements in French, I guess Dutch, and English. I later found out that everyone in the Brussels area speaks primarily French, which was great because I can speak that too 🙂
We arrived in Brussels airport and stumbled bleary-eyed into the train station to get to the city centre. We were feeling pretty rough. But, once we got there and wandered into the streets, we got a tad distracted.
Almost immediately we grabbed waffles—it was breakfast time, and waffles are breakfast food obvs.
We found the Grote Markt, or Grand Place, pretty easily as well, since you kind of just follow the white pointy spike that peeks over all the buildings. We had to buy a map since we didn’t get a free hostel one, so we did that and then were able to figure out where we wanted to go.
Manneken Pis is a statue of a peeing baby that’s famous. We went to see it. It was predictably underwhelming.
We wandered around, finding the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Guluda, which we went into.
Then we saw a triumphal arch in the distance at one point though and went there… It was really far away and the walk was exhausting. But it was nice once we got there.
Then we came back to the city centre and walked past the parliament, the palace, several gardens, everything we could see on the map that looked interesting. There were lots of army vehicles and people with large guns about, probably because we were walking by a bunch of embassies… certainly made me a little wary of taking pictures.
In the central area (near the Grote Markt), we went to what they were calling a “Danish Tavern”… I had this stewy beef thing that was great, Jer had rabbit; both supposed to be traditional Belgian dishes. We also had Grimbergens.
The rest of the day, we were pretty tired and travelled out, so we just hopscotched between pubs. We went to a cafe/bar named after this beer called Affligem? Anyway, I had a coffee and Jer had a shitty beer simply because it was one of the Belgian ones they had on tap. Then we went to the Six Nations Bar because how could we resist it? They hardly had any Belgian beers on tap (just bottled) so we both went for Guinness 😛
At some point during the day we bought chocolate from a chocolate shop, we saved it for when we got home but it was absolutely amazing. Eventually we went to this place called Brussels Grill or something and sat on the patio. When we went inside to use the washrooms the interior was really neat, it had stained glass and paintings all over the walls. Anyway, I grabbed some pink fruity Hoegaarden there (I had thought it was going to be a red beer, but turns out it was very very pink and sweet… *sigh* oh well, it was delicious but not something I’d normally drink) and Jer got the Leffe Brune. I don’t know, the Belgian beers that we tried were all a little too sweet for my taste. I like the British tendency to make bitter things.
The last thing we did in Brussels was go back to the waffle place just off the Grote Markt and grab our third waffle of the day (we’d had two each in the morning).
I sprang extra for strawberries as well as cream and it was the best extra 80cents I’ve ever spent. Then we caught our train back to the airport and hung out at the airport bar. Jer got a GIANT [supposed] “pint” of Hoegaarden, and we ate some trailmix and waited for our gate to be announced.
We hopped on the plane and got of in Edinburgh in time for the second-last 35 bus to take us home.
Eurotrip complete :]