Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Belguim, Beer and Chocolate!

Friday night I took off from work to meet Jenny and the Eurostar to Brussels. Two and a half hours later, we were in another country, with signs in a different language - just like that! Cool!

After checking into our hotel, and hearing the yummy accent of a local police officer (long story!!), we headed into the breath-taking Grand Place for dinner and a beer. Walking into the grand square, all lit up in it's beauty, was amazing. So gorgeous! What a welcome into my first proper European city!

After tasting the wares and oggling at the buildings and the chocolatier in the square, we wandered through the little streets from the Place to see Manneken Pis.

This little tourist attraction is so funny - a little bronze boy having a never-ending wee!! Hee hee.

After breakfast of fresh croissants slathered in chocolate, we headed for the train to Bruges. One hour northwest of Brussels, we found accommodation once we had got there, after discovering that it was a very popular place this weekend!! Our B&B was a little way out of the town itself, and the girl at Tourist Information told us to tell the bus driver that we "needed to Carpe Diem"! Indeed!!

Back into town after a yummy seafood lunch, we walked through the busy shopping streets, stopping at chocolatiers along the way. We arrived at the gorgeous Markt - another amazing square with breathtaking buildings at every turn. Another chocolate and coffee stop to soak in the view, before wandering to the Burg for more gothic architecture.

The canels around Brugges were lovely, and a boat ride along in a couple of directions allowed us to get a bit of a look at much of the pretty town.

A wander through more of the streets and a closer look at the Church of Our Lady, we stumbled upon a little place called Loreto - and given that my 10 year reunion was happening on the other side of th world, a few beers were had to commemorate! Trust a place called Loreto to serve beer in a big wine glass!

The next day we got the train back to Brussels for a proper look at the city. We saw the Royal Palace, and the gorgeous Cathedral. We then went out to see the building housing all that's important of the EU, the European Commission, and then wen out on a trek to talk the the security guard at NATO. Apparently they don't let random tourists wander the grounds out there - who would have thought!

The weekend was rounded off with flavoured beer and lunch back in the Grand Place. And then more beer. And then more beer. And then a Belgian waffle to fill us up before jumping on the train back to (raining) London.

(More photos.)

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