HC meeting Brussels

Brussels Travel Blog

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Frank savouring a burger! [thorgal67]


I left with Frank to Brussels to do some things at the Fnac and finally to roll over to find a parking space... it was the Flemish National day so a lots of people were in town for a tuesday... mostly bearing the flemish flag with some extremist mixed in between.

July 11

Frank pick me up and we drove directly to Brussels has he had to go to the Fnac before closing time... and then we talked a bit while he was having a meal and finally got the car back to drive around to find a parking which finally manage to succeed somehow!

I was waiting for Aurelie to arrive and I did recognise her and when she did she was quite surprised to see me. For her it was some of her first days back in Belgium to live in Brussels for now. In the meantime, Frank was welcoming the people in the nearest café.
Jurgen and Michael at the meeting... with nationalist at the back [jurgen] [godwinistravelling]

I got into great discussion the whole evening with Aurélie (HC - kenza888), Jurgen (HC - Jurgen), Michael (HC - godwinistravelling) and many others.  It appeared that our meeting day was at the same moment than the flemish national day, so there was some gathering organised by the flemish government and institution in Brussels (which is also the capital of Flanders). Sadly, Flemish nationalist is synonym of extreme right and extremist moron, so next to our café some people came to demonstrate and the police had to intervene while the 'moderate' proud flemish, the french speaking and well the foreigners would struggle with those extremist... it was quite a funny sight for me though!

Because of that we all moved to another café, basically at the St-Goriks Halle (Halle St-Géry) for more drink and there I talked some more to Achim, who at first didnt recognise me which was funny.
Vlaanderen Feest Day... Nationalism!
  Finally, the whole bunch of people we were started moving to the Grand'place to enjoy the concert of Clouseau that was given there. It was packed and some people already left as it was getting late, so we more did all silly and I didnt pay too much attention to the concert (only a little, Clouseau is a pretty big band in Vlaanderen!).

As Frank needed to leave as well, I settled a meeting for the next morning at the Grand'Place with Michael and Jurgen and I left back to Grimbergen to leave my things at his place, talked a lot after such a long time, used the Internet quite late and oufff some sleep!
July 12

The wake up was early, hard to do but done... Frank brought me to the metro station next to the Atomium at Heysel where I relaxed at the sun doing pictures before getting to move to the center for 10h to meet Jurgen and Michael.
Nationalism in Flanders is the 'right'

I was just on time but still the first one, Michael showed up not long after and Jurgen a bit later with all his bags and stuff. So as the temperature was extremely hot and the weather wonderful but also that our night were rough we simply took it chill and went to the supermarket to buy some stuff for breakfast. We walked to the KunstBerg to eat there, talking to some guys who were heading to Dour festival, relax, eat and play frisbee with some young kids who joined us in our crazy plays. Nearly the whole day went like that and later we moved to Aurelie's place in Matonge (the african congolese district of Brussels) to have supper at the garden terrass with Mathilde as well (HC - mathilded).

After this, I shortly went to shop at H&M for a workshirt and at a camera store for a lens filter.
The Atomium
Finally, with Jurgen and Mathilde we moved by foot to Achim's place so that Jurgen could leave is bag and we discussed a bit. I arranged that I could stay at his place for the rest of the week and week-end eventually.

We all walked back downtown as they were going out but I needed to get back at Heysel where Frank was picking me up after his time at the cinema. We drove back to Grimbergen and talked. He needed to meet up with other HC people as a chat conference so in the meantime I got myself busy by watering the flowers in the garden and doing the dishes.
After it, I simply did some Internet and prepared my bag for the next weeks as I was leaving Grimbergen tomorrow morning quite even more early than today, and also preparing the thing that I store at his place for my journey in Europe.
More view of the Atomium

Sadly, as I didnt eat I got somewhat hungry but its been ok as I managed to go to sleep.
July 13

The wake up call was horribly early before 7am and with a fast preparing, Frank drove me to a near bus station on the way in Vilvoorde so that I could reach Brussels until the Jubelpark to meet with Jurgen around 9am. I made it and Jurgen arrived as well after having slept at Mathilde's place and so we both walked to Achim who was just waking up and discussed while having breakfast and I left my bags and got the key from his new and old appartment.

Finally later by the morning, Jurgen and me both left to the center of Ixelles and Etterbeek walking around and stopping at some supermarket to get some food at Lidl and Delhaize.
Backside view - Atomium
We stopped by the Ixelles pond to eat and relax but the omni presence of the noise of the car and the heat and not so clean area made that I suggest that we try to reach the Ter Cameren forest. I asked at a café at Place Flagey to fill up our water bottle which they complied easily which was pretty great and we walked by the huge hot day till the Cambre forest (getting ourselves spray by water around the Abbey).

Once we reached it we simple walked to a shadow area and slept there on the grass for few hours. Later, we played some more frisbee and throw some wooden stick at a little silly dog.

By the end of the day and after having walked all the way back to Matonge at Aurélie's place whom we waited at the corner street café, I heard by a french radio the beginning of the Lebanon conflict which I could hardly hear as it was in the middle of the street but after a moment it confirmed to be.
Me at the Atomium
To me it was somewhat shitty to hear as I was really planning to go there later on my journey!

With Aurélie and Mathilde, we walked to Place Flagey to attempt getting 'the best fries' but sadly the place was closed for vacation. It was funny, as I heard the word often... 'the best ones...'. We took some food at a turkish kebap and walked downtown to the Gay district to have some drinks until late and me and Jurgen hurried to catch the last metro to get back to Achim. After some discussion about the European Commision for which he works I get to his new appartment where I'm sleeping. This place is so wonderfully european, high ceiling, great door and so great space (with a garden, 2 floors, next to the Jubelpark...wow!).
July 14

Quiet and hot day below the sun, I got up early and went to the old flat to have breakfast with Achim and Jurgen who were waking as well.
Heysel expo area in Brussels
Later by the morning, I walked with Jurgen to the spot where he was starting his hitch-hiking journey in direction of Liege by departing at the highway entrance nearby Jubelpark.

When I passed there later by midday he was still there just chilling in the grass so we talked some more and I helped him catching a ride which went pretty fine. On my side, it has been relax. I walked in Etterbeek until Place Jourdan to go do some grocery for the coming days at the Colruyt. Later, I discussed with Achim nearly all the evening while cooking a spaghetti just before he was leaving to Germany for the week-end leaving me managing his appartments! Finally, he left quite late and its only by night that I went to walk downtown and back crossing Jubelpark by night with all strange persons in the bushes (gay or junkie obviously).
Michael and Jurgen at the Kunstberg [godwinistravelling] [jurgen] (Hospitalityclub)
I simply then enjoyed the tv in Achim's old appartment before getting some sleep.
July 15

Lazy day and numbed by the heat. Its only by afternoon that I left the appartment to walk the european district and the area of Ambiorix Square. Finally it was already the end of the afternoon and I needed to go join Aurélie and Mathilde and some other HC members in the center of Brussels to have a walk and a drink at some cafés. We also got a snack which we enjoyed while sitting on the Grand'place watching the light show done on the surrounding buildings.

After all the beer, I had an horrible need to peeso we walked to the cafés next to the Halle St-Géry which would avoid me to have to pay the usual fees to get access to the toilet.
Jubelpark in Brussels
Tonkatsu (HC) paid us a drink and finally later he drove us all to the place we needed to go, getting back to the old appartment and trying to catch some news on the tv and sleeping in the this warm night.
July 16

Another quiet day at the appartment before I got myself in shape to catch a metro to the center meeting Mathilde and Aurélie again to get a drink in the gay district with some people that Aurélie met and some other HC guest : Mieke (HC - miekelmot) and her 2 finnish guests (Danield and someone else).

Later I walked back with Mathilde and we stopped for another drink on the way offered as my budget was low (Thanks :) and talking late late on the streets until a drink weirdos came over to interfer. Was all funny though.
Contemplative Jurgen
I walked back to the new appartment to sleep and preparing my bags for my departure of the next day! Where we can say that the trip is really starting my first hitch-hiking of the year and the beginning of my trip to Scandinavia all the way by hitch-hiking.

So tommorrow I go meet Laura (HC - lauraasia) with whom I'll hitch to Finland!

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Frank savouring a burger! [thorgal…
Frank savouring a burger! [thorga…
Jurgen and Michael at the meeting.…
Jurgen and Michael at the meeting…
Vlaanderen Feest Day... Nationalis…
Vlaanderen Feest Day... Nationali…
Nationalism in Flanders is the ri…
Nationalism in Flanders is the 'r…
The Atomium
The Atomium
More view of the Atomium
More view of the Atomium
Backside view - Atomium
Backside view - Atomium
Me at the Atomium
Me at the Atomium
Heysel expo area in Brussels
Heysel expo area in Brussels
Michael and Jurgen at the Kunstber…
Michael and Jurgen at the Kunstbe…
Jubelpark in Brussels
Jubelpark in Brussels
Contemplative Jurgen
Contemplative Jurgen
Me in Achims brand new classy app…
Me in Achim's brand new classy ap…
Infamous Manneken Pis
Infamous Manneken Pis
Not yet famous Aurelie Pis [kenza8…
Not yet famous Aurelie Pis [kenza…
Near Ambiorix Square
Near Ambiorix Square
photo by: Vlindeke