June 11, 2006

A Day in Brussels, Belgium

Filed under: People,Places — Cory @ 11:28 am

We arrived in Brussels around 4 pm on Saturday afternoon. As soon as we exited the train station Jason managed to pull an Americanism with a local shop owner while asking for directions. It was at that point I decided to handle public relations for the rest of the trip. :)

Finally we figured out what was going on and took a cab to the local information center. A lady there hooked us up with a hotel and said that they were running a “deal” until later that evening. Sure enough, she got us a price that was lower than even the hotel was advertising. More on this later.

After checking in and dropping off our bags in the room we headed out into the bustling town area to find dinner. The city was alive with people, and we walked around for a while before stopping at a little restaurant named Les Chapeliers near La Grand Place. Of course, I had to get a Kriek since I really enjoyed the one Dirk introduced them to me last fall. After filling up on meat and potatoes we stopped at a little corner dessert shop for Belgium and Liege waffles. Sweet!

Now that we had full bellies we started walking around the rest of the city. We saw La Grand Palace, as well as several really interesting little streets full of restaurants with tables out side, and after walking around for 3 hours we eventually saw the Manneken Pis, the famous statue of the little boy peeing. It was beginning to get late (but not dark) by this point, so we headed up to the top of the city to the capital. We got there just in time to see the sun set over Brussels, which was pretty cool, although a bit strange to see at 10pm.

By this point we were exhausted so we started back to the hotel. Along the way we met some interesting (drunk) dudes who were singing Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” for the whole city to hear.

Since the sun had just gone down, it was still pretty warm and when we got to the hotel room we were both still sweating. After a few minutes we noticed that the room was really hot, so we started looking for the air conditioner switch. We found a few knobs, but they ddn’t seem to do anything. I called the front desk to find out if there was a trick we didn’t know, but instead she said “Air conditioning? There is no air conditioning at this hotel.” Ok, we were on the 6th (and 7th) floor but fortunately there was a huge window in the room that we were able to open. This allowed the room to cool down a little, and so around 11:30 we were able ready for sleep. It was at this time that the Turkish Karoake Bar across the street started things up. This went on until at least 3am (which is when I finally passed out from exhaustion), and the entire time it was very loud, and well, I’ve never heard anything quite like it. There is a lot of high pitched yelling, as if the person is going through some excruciating pain. At 3am. The absurdity of the situation just made us laugh uncontrollably, possibly because we were simply delirious by that point. I don’t think it is something either of us will forget anytime soon.

The next morning we woke up, had a really good breakfast at the hotel, and caught a taxi back to the train station. Two Eurail passes later we were headed to Amsterdam for the next stop in our trip. I’ve written this on the train to Amsterdam, and we have an overnight train scheduled from Amsterdam to Copenhagen, so I’ll write the next update at that point. I’ve posted all my pictures from Brussels.

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  1. Wish we’d known you were going to Belgium!!! :)

    Comment by Annie — June 11, 2006 @ 8:11 pm
  2. Sounds awesome, man. But did you get the kilt hose? :-)

    Comment by David — June 12, 2006 @ 11:04 am

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