Brussels

When most people think of Belgium, they think of Brussels and that’s about it. The next day I took the train back to Brussels for the afternoon. It’s about a 45-minute ride and this journey was free with my railpass. I’m glad I’m getting some benefit out of it for all the money I paid for it. After exploring Brussels for a couple hours there were a few cool things to see, but overall I didn’t like it near as much as Bruges. Also, since it was cheaper to stay in Bruges, I went back there that evening. Here  are a few pictures from my afternoon in Brussels though.

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After exploring I finished off the afternoon with what else? A WAFFLE!! I didn’t think there would any coming close to the one I had the previous day but this one was up there, too.

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Before I left Brussels I checked at the train station to see if I needed to make a seat reservation in order to go Paris the next day, only to find out that all the trains were booked until 9:00 at night  As it turns out, there aren’t many seats reserved for Eurail pass holders on the high-speed trains like that one. So now I had another day to kill in Bruges.

Chocolate, Waffles, & Beer

Amazingly I somehow managed to catch my train from London to Brussels. I had planned to leave the apartment around 5am, catch the tube to the train station, and actually be there a few minutes early. Well plans change, especially that early in the morning. I got to the tube station around 5:20, and to my surprise, it was still closed. This was not good. I walked around the block and was forced to catch a taxi to the train station. This worked out well since there was no traffic. Thinking back on it, there’s no way I would’ve made it on time if I have of taken the tube. I arrived about 5 minutes before my train left, checked in, hopped on, and 2 hours later I was in Brussels.

About 10 minute after I arrived in Brussels, I caught a connection to Bruges. I decided to do this since I had to end up back in Brussels to take the train to Paris anyway.

Bruges was pretty amazing. The strange thing, though, was that every day I was there it rained until about 3:00 in the afternoon, then  the sun came out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Belgium can be summed up in 3 words, as the title of this post implies: Chocolate, Waffles, & Beer. Right outside the main square (I believe it was called Markt Square), there’s a chocolate shop called Dumon. There’s is probably 1,000 chocolate shops in the city of Bruges, but I thought I’d give this one a shot. It was owned by a very nice older woman and what looked to be her daughter. I only bought 2 pieces at first just to test it out. I got one raspberry and one tirimisu. Both of these turned out to be the best chocolate I think I’ve ever had! So 5 minutes after I left the store I returned for a second round and got a variety box with 15 or so different kinds included. After the chocolate excursion, it was time for an authentic Belgian waffle. I stopped at a little cafe and here’s what I got.

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It was amazing though because about 3 minutes after the waitress put this down in front of me, it looked like she hadn’t brought it yet.

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Ok, so with 2 down and 1 to go, I had to try some of the world-famous Belgian beer. I was not disappointed. There’s a beer shop called 2Go that has a cellar in the basement of the shop with 750 different kinds of beer!! That’s basically every beer brewed in Belgium. I bought 3 or 4 different kinds to try and they were really cheap as well, I think only about 2 euros a piece. I had strawberry  beer (good), peach beer (amazing!), chocolate beer (disgusting!), then a couple other normal beers that were pretty good. My hostel also had about 50 kinds of Belgian beer on tap, so I tried a few of those, too. By the middle of the afternoon, I was the happiest person in the world. Then the sun came out and I was able to get some good shots of the city.

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