A Travellerspoint blog

Belgium

Brussels

We got off the train from Bruges to Brussels in good time Monday morning. It was pretty rainy so we had a very wet but still nice walk to our hostel. My friend Noor, who I worked with at CIBC, met up with us at the hostel as she would be tagging along for a while before a family trip to London. Noor, Colby, and I headed out to go for a wander, which was shortened by an absolute downpour. Once the rain slowed down we found a restaurant where we had a nice seafood dinner of mussels and prawns, before heading out for the night with some people we had met at the hostel. The first bar we went to was called the Celtica, which had an amazing deal of a beer for 2 Euros until midnight. We took advantage of that as long as we could, because who wouldn't? After that we headed to the world famous Delirium Bar, which held a whopping selection of over 3000 beers (a Guinness world record). We did our best to try as many as possible before calling it a night. Unfortunately, we didn't make a dent in the 3000, so we'd have to strap up our boots and go back the next night.

Our only full day in Brussels consisted of a free walking tour, which gave us a good historical take on the city. It took us through the main square, where we saw the gothic town hall building. There is a legend about the building that the architect jumped off of the top to his death because he was angry that it was not symmetrical. The tour also took us by the Manneken Pis, which means “little man pee”. It is a famous statue of a young boy peeing in to a fountain, and it is almost 400 years old. Someone decided that in the interest of fairness there needed to be female version, so 30 years ago a statue of a little girl squatting and peeing was built, called the Jeanneke Pis. The boy statue was familiar and funny, but the girl one was weird and almost inappropriate. We walked by the grand palace, a few beautiful churches, and a gigantic park. We learned the horrible history of the Dutch occupation of the Congo and all they did to cover it up, before ending at the top of a hill with a wonderful scenic view of the city. We capped the day off with some shopping and food. Our night again consisted of a seafood dinner (this time we had a delicious paella), before following the same path of pubs as the night before.

Our last morning in Brussels was when I said goodbye to Colby, as it was the end of his trip. I did not envy him going home. After that, Noor and I grabbed a train to Amsterdam.

Posted by geoffboulton 13:38 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Bruges

Colby and I got to Bruges on Saturday morning after a pretty gruelling overnight train from Munich. Every time we take a form of overnight transport, we vow never to do so again, and this time was no different! Sometimes it's just either the only option, or only affordable option. What made it worse was the 30 minute trek to our hotel with our backpacks on! We opted for a hotel because the hostels were pretty booked up and we were pretty keen to not sleep in a dorm room this time. We had a good nap when we got there and then headed to the city. That night we did a brisk walk around, checking out the sites and buildings. We decided to go for a nice Belgian dinner and the first order of business was ordering a beer that came in the funniest glass. After dinner, we walked around a little more before calling it a night.

The next day we got a bit of a slow start as we were taking advantage of our luxury of privacy, comfy beds, and a good shower for a change! By the time we got in to town, we did more or less the same thing as the day before. The town of Bruges is wonderful to walk around in, with neat cobblestone side streets, plenty of churches, and a ton of history. The city had a lot of signage around town, explaining the history and significance of various landmarks. That night, Colby went to sleep and I appropriately watched the movie "In Bruges" as I waited to find out around midnight what the result of the gender reveal was back in Surrey. I can now call my sister’s baby she instead of "it"!

We headed out in good time for Brussels the next day.

Posted by geoffboulton 13:11 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

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