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!
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!
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. 😉
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. 🙂