25.08.2011 - 25.08.2011 28 °C
Ok before I start this blog I'll start with the Belgian disclaimer that I didn't actually enter into the Frankish territories of Belgium but instead stayed within the confines of Flanders (the Dutch part). So, to my Belgian friends who will be up in arms at the connotations, I do apologise but the name of "Frankish Feast" but the name was just too hard for me to pass up.....................
Leisurely start this morning as I was catching the 10am train to Brussels from Cologne. It was the usual mad dash at the train station to get on the train, find your seat and then find somewhere to park your bag.. (It’s probably the main drawback of catching trains in Europe.. they really aren’t designed for bags any larger than small overnighters or smallish suitcases or packs)
Anyway got on and had a really enjoyable 2hr train trip into Brussels.
Arrived and I had planned to catch a train to the closest station and then walk a couple of steps to my hostel. Unfortunately Gare du Midi (Brussels main international train station) isn’t really well designed to work out how to catch inter-Brussels trains. Neither is there an easily accessible tourist office (I couldn’t find one anywhere in the terminal) so I decided just to walk the couple of blocks to the hostel. (Which was fine).
Arrived at the hostel and had a rest before deciding to go downtown and find the sites of Brussels. I spent the afternoon wandering around the main town square and the surrounding streets. (The main town square is pretty impressive.. palaces surround the square, all of which are trimmed in gold leaf). I found an English bookstore so I bought myself a guide book to Brussels and Paris (next stop) before sitting down for a quick snack.
I met up with Dorien at 8pm for dinner. We went back downtown and I had a traditional Belgian dish; Veal meatball things in some sort of beer inspired sauce with fritsches (chips) and salad and of course I tested out a Belgian beer! The two of us had a great night catching up and headed back to the hostel around 12pm. Off to Brugge and Ghent tomorrow and bbq at Dorien’s tomorrow night!