European Rail Adventure: Brussels

Day 3 – The final day in Brugge, Belgium to Brussels, Belgium

The morning of our final day in Brugge was upon us, and both Devon and I were sad to be leaving so soon. Also, it meant having to get back to the train station. Eager to avoid Death March Two: Return of the Sweaty Backs, we opted for a leisurely stroll broken up by breakfast and a brief rest in Minnewater Park. We grabbed a quick bite to eat in the Markt and said goodbye to our home of the last two days. It was a bit scary, leaving the place that we knew, but there were many more cities awaiting us.

Minnewater Park was full of shady benches perfect for people (and dog) watching. I finished up writing down our adventures, and Devon got through the last of the three books she brought. We’re going to need more books.

We boarded the train back to Brussels, and happened to sit next to a British couple. I eagerly listened in on their conversation, happy to hear the familiar accent. As we only stayed one night to break up the trip to Luxembourg, there wasn’t much time to see many of the sites, but I was interested to see the city. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews of Brussels. It appears to be one of those ‘you need to get to know it’ kind of places. But before I could get to know Brussels, we had to find our hostel.

It was a ten minute walk according to Google Maps, very straightforward. That is, straightforward when you take the correct exit out of the train station. Thanks to a helpful security guard, we quickly amended our mistake, and headed on our way. It is hot here, guys. So hot. I was melting. The walk was not pleasant. We made it without bickering too much and checked in. Ready to collapse, we were just happy to have beds with our names on them. Until we found out they were on the third floor (the fourth floor in America) in a building with no elevator. Awesome.

 

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Brussels Grand Place. Not pictured: dozens of stalls selling beer and snacks. (PC: Dev)

It wasn’t the most auspicious start to our stay in Brussels to be sure, but we rallied. We headed out in search of the Grand Place and a place to sit and do some writing/blogging while seeing some of the main sites. We made our way to one of the six entrances of the Grand Place only to find that they are blocked off and security checkpoints are set up. Turns out there is a beer festival going on. And apparently, we showed up just as the security guards were doing a sweep of the square, and they weren’t allowing people in. I really nailed the timing on this one. I wanted to see the square, but both Dev and I were hungry, so we turned around and found a crepe place instead. A bit of food in our bellies will turn this day around, I thought.

Whelp, the crepes were mildly disappointing, and the waiter was rude. I have to be honest, I was not feeling Brussels. Nothing was easy. Everything I seemed to suggest backfired, and that isn’t great when you are responsible for both yourself and someone else. We tried to find a café to sit down in, but most places were just bars. Eventually we made it to Maison Dandoy where we had a yummy waffle and ate our feelings. The guy was really nice, and we both perked up somewhat. Just as we were about to leave, it began to rain. I wasn’t sure if this was a bad omen, a sign of a day that just needed to end, or the weather’s attempt to comfort me with vaguely Scottish conditions. Jury is still out.

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The waffle that saved our day from disaster. Thank you Maison Dandoy!

We decided to retreat back to the hostel and just chill in the café area they had. We simply wanted somewhere quiet where we could do our own thing for a while. We needed a recharge. On the way back we were able to pop into the Grand Place. It was beautiful, even when full of white tents and beer vendors. I saw one of the classiest looking Starbucks I’ve ever seen.

The walk back was uneventful, and we claimed a corner of the hostel café where we spent a happy hour just vegging out. Maybe it was the walk to the hostel, maybe it was the muggy weather, but neither of us were really in love with Brussels. I will just have to go back another day and spend a bit more time there. Perhaps I’ll get a local to show me around next time.

Next stop – Luxembourg

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: European Rail Adventure: The Beginning | We'll Jump Off That Bridge When We Get To It

  2. Pingback: The Road to Luxembourg | We'll Jump Off That Bridge When We Get To It

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