A hopscotch to Brussels

Mural art, Rue des Alexiens 49

After my Tuesday departure and my Wednesday fun in Iceland and a supershortnight with C. last Thursday morning I found myself arriving in Brussels on the early international train. I got out to an overcast day and wet streets which was a bit of a bummer.. vacations are supposed to be sunny in my books.

I was worried about having to wander around with my suitcase and the sky being so gloomy but I called my hotel and was able to check in rightaway, so happy about that! Being jetlagged from 37-something hours of travel from home, through Iceland, through the Netherlands and onward to Brussels I was desperately in need of a nap… although I realized later I should have just stayed up and went to bed early, because I spent most of the following night tossing and turning.

I stayed at Hotel Artistote which was quite a nice location, about 10 minutes from Bruxelles Midi station and another 10 minutes the other way to get to Grand Place. It was a great starting point and basically smack dab in the middle of Brussel. (If you want more info on the place I stayed just ask and I’ll be happy to let you know). The train stations stop in the centre of the city and it’s easy to get almost anywhere in the city centre on foot. After my nap I set off to do some exploring on foot. If you go, don’t pay half a euro for the maps at the tourist centre, hotels have free walking maps!

omnomnom

Using the walking map I navigated the streets, aimlessly wandering about until I saw something interesting. One of the first places I found was a Godiva store where I paid way too much for overpriced but delicious chocolates. I should have brought some when I left but alas, already too much to carry with me.

It’s unfortunate that my camera died this soon into the trip and I’m not able to recharge it through my laptop for some reason so all of the pictures are coming from my phone. After strolling around, visiting many different streets of which I don’t remember the names I finally found Grand Place and had a beer, fries with mayo and onions and a frikandel. Delish!

patat en frikandel & a Stella Artois

I tend to make sure I get in all the foods and meals that I can’t get in Canada every time I make it back to my home country, Belgium has similar goodies so this time no exception! I have so much more to sample before I go, nomnomnom! (like dutch Chinese food, bamischijf, hollandsche nieuwe, kroketten, and of course metworst) To me these foods aren’t really novelties or things to try out, they’re old friends I’m happy to get reacquainted with. 😉

fountain

I spent most of my first day in Brussels sleeping, relaxing and walking around. I wandered about the neighbourhoods, tried to orient myself, checked out a beautiful church and walked through a few of the parks and squares that dot central Brussels. Aside from my trainticket to get to Brussel, I spent very little money (don’t worry, I made up for it the weekend after) The weather stayed dry and I got to relax, it was quite nice! As for the city itself.. that’s for another post. I think I’ll continue to give updates and pics on my travels as I go along so stay tuned for day 2 in Brussels. 🙂

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10 Comments

  1. It may not be such a bad thing! Traveling with a camera means more bulk and more time spent setting up snaps than actually sightseeing. (Or at least that's what I told myself when I decided to do Sydney without my SLR :P)

  2. I'm gonna be traveling with quite a few devices and cameras, so I know how you feel. We will also be up for more than 36 hours before we get to sleep in a real bed.

  3. I've changed trains in Belgium before, but didn't get out to explore. I have cousins in Antwerp, so I really need to make it out there to see them!

  4. That's too bad that your camera isn't working. While it would be nice to have all the high quality photos, it does give you more freedom. You can just find photos of most things online and pretend it's your photo. And yeah, adjusting to the time change after a long flight is always rough. Looking forward to seeing more of your travels.

    • Another post coming up by wednesday morning! I actually think the quality of the pics on my phone is better than my new point and shoot, but neither comes close to my Canon S5, I felt it was too bulky to bring along for this trip though, I'm doing too much trekking about!

  5. Thanks for the tour! You could maybe get one of those throwaway cameras if you really feel the lack.

  6. myfamilyfinances

    July 28, 2012 at 07:49

    I'm not so sure about mayo on fries…

    I'm glad to hear you are having a great time on vacation. My next trip to Europe is definitely going to be Venice.

  7. familymoneyvalues

    July 30, 2012 at 15:08

    ymmm chocolate!

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