After a week of Metz under our belts, pretty much all of the GTL crowd was ready to make a big weekend trip. I decided to tag along with some friends who were planning on going to Brussels and Brugge, Belgium. So, at 8:00 Friday morning a large horde of bright-eyed American college kids waited for the bus. And we waited…. and then we waited some more. Our train was due to leave at 9:00 and the city bus was conveniently 30 minutes late (and it’s about a 25 minute bus ride to the train station). So, we missed out train. The group who didn’t have to activate their Eurail passes was able to catch a train that left about 10 minutes later, but a large group of us had to wait another hour for the next train.
When we finally got to Brussels, we called the other group to figure out where they were. Turns out the hostel where we were planning on staying was really far away from the city center. Not a huge deal, they just went to a new one. Getting there is super simple, they said. Just turn right when you see the super modern looking building with lots of flags and then follow the train tracks until they end. Then go to the cathedral and the hostel is right there. There are at least 6 cathedrals in Brussels…. but we somehow made it there and then we went exploring.
Brussels is huge. There is stuff everywhere!! The first thing we did was get some french fries (apparently Brussels is known for them). Holy moly, they were so delicious!! Brussels is also known for its chocolate, waffles, and mussels so we got those too. We really ate a lot. Brussels is one of those cities that still has the really old architecture and the cobble stone roads in some places and then there is a skyscraper right down the street. It’s really incredible to be able to see how the modern world has inserted itself into this really old culture.
The next day we took a train to Brugge. Brugge is a very small and old town that is geared toward tourists. There are horse and buggy tours, walking tours, boat tours… etc. You name it, and they have a tour for it. We took the boat tour and it was amazing! Brugge has multiple canals running though the city so you can basically see a large portion of the city from a boat. I’m in love with how many window boxes I was able to see. We also went to a flea market that they have towards the middle of the city every day, a lace shop, a few chocolate shops, and a cafe. Truly just a great day of wandering through the city and trying all kinds of things out. That evening we headed back to Brussels for one more night out before heading back to Metz.
We’re clearly still trying to figure this whole traveling thing out. A lot of us aren’t used to actually having to make the plans, so sometimes things are a little interesting. All of my pictures from Belgium can be found here, but be warned… there are a ton of them. Au revoir for now!!