Brussels is the BEST!

Trip Start Aug 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2009

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Where I stayed
Julien's Place

Flag of Belgium  ,
Thursday, September 11, 2008

A short train hop was all it took to get from Lille to Brussels. However, beforehand we had the pleasure of roaming around Lille fully burdened with our luggage packs. It might have made more sense to take some extra time to find lockers or a hotel which would hold our bags for a few euros, but walking with them was good practice for when we visit areas with no such amenities. It also encouraged us to lighten our loads.

We were a little short of local knowledge in Lille, so we spent our time wandering and taking photographs of things we didn't quite understand. We first visited the Lille Convention Center, then a large church, then several small churches, then some more buildings, and after that yet more buildings. We did, at one point, wander into a future Greenpeace office, but they were not yet open, and they spoke Frenchm so that did us little good.

During the train ride to brussels, we noticed several fields full of what appeared to be WWII era bunkers and we speculated that we might have crossed the Maginot Line. It was a lovely sunny afternoon for a short train ride through the Belgium countryside, which was a lush verdant green. Occasionally a small town would flash by the windows, but with the speed of the TGV train (186mph), we barely had time to blink before the scenery would change again.

Upon our arrival in Brussels, we were met on the steps of the Belgium Stock Exchange by our gracious host, Julian. We had a brief tour of the touristy walking downtown area of Brussels and it's amazing square. I'll be sure to add photos and perhaps a video of the square later, because it remains the most amazing sight we have seen in Brussels.

Which is not to say that there is not much much more to the city than a few dozen frescos and a towering gothic town center steeple. Also on our tour, we were shown stands selling delicious-looking Belgium waffles--of which we have yet to partake--dozens of streetside cafe's, and several hidden taverns down empty-looking back alleys.

Now, it is the morning of our second day in Brussels and we have seen the Palace of Justice as well as a city view with many strange and interesting buildings visible in the distance. I am sure we will walk to them all and I will update you as time allows. For now, Au revoir or Aufweidersehen.
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