Nov 17, 2008

Brussels and Brugge

The last morning of our trip we checked out of the hostel and loaded on the bus for Brussels. It quickly became clear that I did not want to be the party responsible for what was about to happen.

We made it to the outskirts of Brussels without incident, and stopped long enough to take touristy pictures of ourselves in front of the Atomium which was built for the 1958 World's Fair. The copyright claims over the Atomium image are very strict and rather absurd... I'm not selling the images and am going to post them for personal use, no matter what Belgium wants to claim. However, if these pictures are ever removed in the future, you'll know why.

Kat and I on the bus heading into Brussels, before we realize we're about to spend the next half hour plus stuck in traffic.
Making it further into Brussels was difficult. There was a parade and a protest, and the usual route that our tour guide would take into the city was blocked off. At one point our bus driver had pull a u-turn in a busy city street. It took a while, but the overall effort was impressive and elicited an applause from all of us.

When we finally made it to the city center we had very little time to browse and eat. I seem to recall our guide briskly walking us past a few restaurants to a square before giving us an hour to eat and make it back to the bus. We found a place to eat within a few minutes, and ate just as quickly. Several of the restaurants are packed in alleyways right next to each other, and we had to pass them to make it back to the bus. Most of the maitre des were trying to drag us into their restaurants by calling Jackie "Barbie, Barbie come here darling!" It was hilarious. And their English was flawless. We hit up a few chocolatiers shops and bought some truffles before running for the bus. Somewhere around here I have a 15% off card, and yes they deliver internationally.

I give you the church across the street from where our bus was parked. Beyond that I know nothing.
Once back on the bus, our next problem was getting out of the city, which was nearly as difficult as getting in. We were stuck in traffic for quite a while, and our tour guide was clearly growing frustrated. After leaving the city I stopped paying attention to the view out the window and must have napped at some point, because I don't remember much between Brussels and Brugge.

We make it to Brugge and unload near this random bench with a bean shaped overhang. We had to walk to the city center... it was very over the river and through the woods, until all of a sudden there was this cute little town made of bricks. There were lots of shops, and we headed straight for a waffle shop.
Belgium waffles are everything you think they can be and more. Waffles in Belgium aren't a meal, they're dessert. It's like trying to compare ice cream to gelatto, they are not equal. The waffles were so good we had to have seconds, I mean it's not like we were going to be back any time soon. I looked in a few more shops trying to find a wind chime and came up empty. After what seemed like less than an hour we had to go back to the bus to make sure we could catch the Chunnel back home.

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