The Land of Beer and Chocolate...
Brussels Travel Blog› entry 29 of 45 › view all entries
Where was I??? Scat, scat, scatâ€¦ Ok. My head is back in one piece now, and I was arriving in Belgium. Went directly to Brussels on the train, all good, survived the trip (barely) and went on a mission to find a net cafĂ© so I could find a hostel. It was pretty early in the morning so of course the central station was mayhem. Followed the net cafĂ© signs around and around in circles until I eventually gave up and went to find someone who could speak enough English to give me directions (another mission, every time Iâ€™m in a country I want to know the language but have to survive with my phrasebooks). In the end I did find the place and despite the signs saying that it was due to open 40 mins earlier, the guy was in there but the door was locked and he was completely oblivious to all of the people waiting outside. Why does everything have to be so hard some days? Ok, Iâ€™ll stop my whining cos yeah, I could be much worse off than having to wait around a little while in Belgium! Grabbed a coffee and parked my bags outside the store and waited until he finally opened then found the hostel that Nico had gone to so booked in there hoping to catch him before he left for the Netherlands.
Getting there was another missionâ€¦ Did I mention that I donâ€™t speak Flemish or French? Yeah, that makes it a little difficult to communicate with, well, anyone in Belgium! After all kinds of disasters and getting lost a couple of times I got the train in the wrong direction but as always happens eventually found the right place and the hostel, chucked my bags in storage and as soon as I walked back outside whoâ€™s sitting out there but Nicoâ€¦ So I guess things always work out in the end. And being that heâ€™d already spent a couple of days in Brussels I had my very own tour guide of the city (so handy).
We went on a very geeky tour of the Parliament building which was all in French, but thatâ€™s ok cos even if they were talking English it all wouldâ€™ve gone straight over my head. Iâ€™m not quite the parliament nerd that Nico is so I wasnâ€™t fussed with understanding so I just kept nodding my head and for the longest time the woman thought that I understood what was going on. I didnâ€™t get caught out until she asked me a question halfway through and I just stared blankly that she realised that heâ€™s the only one who speaks French! Heeheehee.
Ok, so on to the important stuff: we all know what Belgium is famous for rightâ€¦ Yep, beer and chocolate. And really, who doesnâ€™t love beer and chocolate (well, maybe not together!) Let me tell you, Belgian chocolate has never tasted so good as it does there, itâ€™s fabulous. And Belgian beer, thatâ€™s something elseâ€¦ Tried some great random beers, and, some more great random beers (you really have to while youâ€™re there, itâ€™s the rulesâ€¦ If you donâ€™t drink enough local beer then they have the right to deport you and forbid you from ever touching their fine produce again so it was my duty!)
After I was done with Brussels went out to Bruges for a dayâ€¦ I had heard so much from people about how pretty a place it is, and they werenâ€™t wrong. Itâ€™s a tiny place, so you can really kind of do it in a day unless you want to be pedantically thorough (which I donâ€™t have the time or money for now that the countdown towards home is on!) so I was happy to rush through so long as I got to see it.
The old town in Bruges is so sweetly adorableâ€¦ Itâ€™s got beautiful old architecture and some stunning Churches that I gazed at for a long time.
When we had done as much of Bruges as we were planning went back to the station to get a train toâ€¦ Wait for itâ€¦ Actually, Iâ€™m not gonna tell you, youâ€™ll have to wait for my next blog! (Câ€™monâ€¦ itâ€™s not that hard to figure out!)
The train ride there via Brussels again was more fantastic views. The countryside is completely different to the main cities, and the further away we got, the thicker the snow gotâ€¦ Woohooâ€¦ Hopefully itâ€™ll be snowing when we get there (where?) But Iâ€™ll let you know next time.