Belgium for Easter
Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
168Trip End Oct 15, 2008
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It was strange thinking of going to another country on a train, but after spending 20mins in darkness as we crossed under the English Channel we arrived in France and spent 1 hr more looking at the scenery before we arrived in Brussels. So far the only differences were that the train driver was speaking French before translating it to English, and I had no idea what the signs said.
Our hotel was in the center of Brussels and after taking a little while to find our bearings we arrived with out too much of a problem. It is really quite easy to communicate with people in Brussels as 90% of the population actually speak English, so the times we did try to communicate in French ended with them speaking to us in English anyway.
That afternoon we wandered around the city center and saw the Grand Place, which is amazing and a great way to start off a European experience I think. There was even a man sitting in the square playing the piano!!
The buildings were all so old and intricate, nothing like you will ever see in Australia, and the cobble stone streets are just beautiful. Before we went to tea I rubbed the bronze sculpture of Everard 't Serclaes for luck, he saved Brussels from the clutches of the counts of Flanders and later died from his wounds.
That night for tea we walked down Rue des Bouchers a famous dinning street where they sell heaps of seafood. I had a bowl of mussels and fries or mouels and frites which is a national dish here and it was fantastic, Dave went for the paella.
We decided we should find a bar somewhere and try the world famous beers and wandered down a little street and settled at the bar of a place called cafe delirium (Delirium is a brand of beer in Belgium). It was pretty cool with lots of memorabilia stuck to the walls of different types of beer, we even saw a XXXX one!
We asked the bar staff for a recommendation and then another and then another, and every one of the beers we tried were fantastic. There was a sign saying that they had 2004 different beers, and when I asked one of the bar staff if this was true he said "No...... there are 2500 different types here, that sign is out dated..." After trying about 6 different ones we decided that was enough, especially since some of them were 11% alcohol. On our walk home Dave spotted someone looking strangely at him, on closer inspection we realised it was Courtney and Nikki, go figure!!! So of course we went for another beer, maybe not the best idea, but it was fun.
The next morning we weren't feeling so crash hot, but no rest for the wicked. Breakfast was included and was cold deli meats and hard boiled eggs and bread, strange for breakfast for us, but sill tasty. The day included wandering around the whole of Brussels seeing the sites and eating the food. I will tell you about one of the things we saw it was a little bronze statue called Manneken Pis or in English 'little man piss'. There are lots of stories that go with this little statue (which is about 30 cm's high) but they all involve a young boy peeing on something and this saving the city! But basically it is a tiny statue of a boy peeing and hundreds of people cramming into a tiny square to see it, really quite strange..........
After a much quieter night we got up early and headed to Brugge on the train. It was only an hour away and only cost us 24 euros.