8 to 10 July 2016
Today started like a normal work day. I then headed home to meet my Italian traveler. He had just gotten back from Milan in the AM, and I can’t believe the amount of stuff he got done in just a few hours of being home.
We took the metro to Gare du Nord. I must say, the architecture of the train stations throughout Europe is just beautiful.
|Gare de Nord|
We got there just in the nick of time to get through security (which was new for us with trains).
While on the train, I opened my birthday cards from our family. I couldn’t help but laugh because I got lots of scratch offs (you know your a Zelko/Lund when…). Not going to lie, I scratched them all right away and made a giant mess. But I won $3!
Getting to Brussles was super easy, made even easier by getting passes to the metro which literally came up right at our Marriott hotel. The train is only an hour and a half from Paris because it is a high speed train which at points travels faster than 300kph (186mph for those non metric people out there)!
Once we went through security at the Marriott (there are so many cops and private security folks all over Brussels, for good reason) we checked into our room then went off exploring.
We walked around Brussels, making our way to the Grand Place. Which, as it’s name notes, it is Grand and also very Gold.
|Nice and windy today!|
|Panoramic of the entire square.|
We ended up having dinner at the Danish Tavern where we enjoyed our first beers and mussels. The perfect birthday meal.
After dinner we wandered over to Place Saint-Grey for some people watching and beer. We had great beer, fabulous people watching and one heck of a view. 29 is going to be a great year!
Step Count: 14,543, 10.45 km
Today we walked and walked and walked some more.
We started off with breakfast at the hotel which was a smorgasbord. I can not resist omelets made to order in front of you.
With full bellies, we head back to the Grand Place area where they were setting up for a Dance Crew competition. To bad it was on Monday or we would have totally went.
We then walked and saw at least 6 churches. It was insane. We have never seen this many churches in such a condensed area. Take a look for yourself:
We also made our way through the Galeries Royales St. Hubert, which built in 1847 is Europe’s oldest still operating shopping mall which is glass-covered. It is dotted with shops, some more high end than other. We putz through and may have done a little Christmas shopping (insert Jer’s eye roll).
At the back of the Norte-Dame de Sablon Church, there was an awesome antique market. You could find anything, pretty much from any where in the world. We looked through each booth which no two were alike. I ended up getting a really cool ring, from the 1940’s which is from the US (how ironic).
We then walked passed the Manneken-Pis, which is a small statue of a pissing boy. It is much smaller than we expected, the statue that is. It is definitely an ode to the fun loving drinking people of Brussels.
We then started to make our way back to the hotel but first, we stopped to get out chocolate at Neuhaus Chocolatiers which has been in Belgium since 1857. I am so pumped!
We then made a pit stop at the hotel to drop off and get ready for a fun afternoon!
Per Rick, he gave us some cool options for food. We ended up going to C’Est Bon, C’est Belge. And as the name says, the food was amazing. We asked the owner to pick out some beers for us as well, and her selections were perfect for our tastes and paired well with our lunch. See for yourself below.
After lunch we headed over to Delirium Cafe, where that have over 3,000 beer options. We had a blast drinking the afternoon away. I was drinking more Grisette type beers and Jer was trying a wide range of beers. We had a great time spending our afternoon with the Pink Elephant.
|Pretty much like an old frat house with a way better beer selection.|
|2 of our choices.|
|Happy birthday to me!|
We then came back to the hotel to freshen up (and get the free food/beer in the Executive lounge).
Dinner time in most of Europe is after 9pm. We had some time to kill before dinner so we went back to Place Saint-Grey for some more people watching and to continue the beer tastings. We were very entertained by a bachelor party who was all dressed up in their football kits. Being British most of the dawned Premier League jerseys, but we even had a Sporting KC MLS jersey citing at one point! They even had a soccer ball they were kicking around in the middle of the street which, with a bunch of drunk dudes, ended up being taken away by pissed patrons of restaurants on multiple occasions but they always somehow got it back.
|Enjoying the nice weather.|
We ended up going to a Thai place for dinner called, Fanny Thai, which our hotel recommended. I ended up making a new friend:
We had a fabulous dinner which we ate ever last bit of. I would highly recommend Fanny Thai to anyone in Brussels.
Step Count: 15,391, 11.33km
Today was hot, hot, hot. We started off the day again with the smorgasbord at the hotel (why not when it is included). We then set off to walk around until early afternoon when we were getting our train back to Paris. It was hot and we immediately started to sweat. We decided based on my super pale skin and the heat, that being out of the sun was our best bet for the day.
We decided to go to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium. It was a perfect way to learn more about the Belgian culture while also seeing some masterpieces (in the air conditioning). Here were a few of my favorite pieces that I sneaked pictures:
|This is a painting of Bethlehem! (not sure if it is the same one)|
After we spent most of the morning to early afternoon at the Museum it was time for us to grab some lunch. The last thing on our Belgium bucket list was waffles. We went to Maison Dandoy (which is famous for their waffles). I had mine with hazelnut ice cream and fruit sauce. Jer had his with strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce. They hit the spot. But we were still a little bit hungry so we stopped at Fritland on our way back to the hotel to get some fries. They were very close to boardwalk fries. I couldn’t help but laugh on the mural inside the fry shop:
We then headed to train station and back to Paris for the Eurocup final! (see next post)
Step Count: 18,774, 13.56 km