Posted by: heatherlehrman | October 8, 2011

Eurotrip Part 1 – Brussels

5 countries, 7 flights, a cold, an allergic reaction (not mine), a mystery of how a bag got stolen, many metros, a few trains, a few cars and a lot of walking later, I can say I successfully backpacked through Europe! I went with two girls on my trip, Ariella and Jena.

Our itinerary: Israel à Latvia à Brussels, Belgium à Barcelon, Spain à Rome, Italy à Thessaloniki, Greece à Athens, Greece à Israel

We were supposed to be gone for 11 days but that turned into 14. I will get to that later.

We took a red eye flight to Latvia, which was our layover to get to Brussels. The first cool thing I realized was that we relived one hour because the time zone changed (everywhere we went – minus Greece was all one hour behind Israel). I wish I had been awake to relive the hour (I fell asleep).

When we landed in Brussels, we realized it was FREEZING and that we had not prepared ourselves with our clothing options. So we bundled up and walked our way to our hostel.

Our first task was to get some waffles. I mean we were in Belgium after all. Unfortunately we couldn’t find this one waffle place the lady in the hostel told us about but we did stumble upon a really delicious looking restaurant in the middle of this AMAZING square with giant and very beautiful buildings called the Grand Palace (google it).

Some things we saw/did in Brussels:

–       The famous peeing man statue (which was pretty disappointing)

–       The “meeting steps”

–       We went to an outside market that had all kinds of things – clothing, kitchen wear, cameras, antiques, etc.

–       Walked by a beautiful church called the Saint-Catherine – looks like a castle

–       Got a waffle!! In Brussels there are a lot of waffle stands and you can order them with things on them (fruits, ice cream, whipped cream, etc.) but I got mine plain and it was a good thing I did because it was so sweet and delicious.

–       Tried some Belgium chocolate and hot chocolate

–       Brussels is well known for their mussels so I ate some mussels. Mine were delicious but Ariella and Jena did not have such good mussels. Theirs were crunchy and not very good. They ended up sending their food back.

–       Went to a beer bar called Delirium

The bar Delirium was very cool. It had 2000 types of beer (tap and bottles). I tried a peach beer and a raspberry beer. This bar was 3 floors and we were hanging out on the bottom floor. Ariella, Jena and I met this guy Michael who was staying in our hostel so he tagged along. We sat around this table and these 3 guys from Zimbabwe come over to us and we start talking. They told us that they were messing around and they were timing each other to see who could get around the whole room and back to the table the fastest. Mind you, this bar was PACKED. I told them that it would be more fun if they did it with a beer in hand and they had to finish it by the time they got back to the table. They loved the idea and said that I should be the first one to try their game with the new twist. I told them I would only do it if they bought the beer. Lets just say I got around in 35 seconds. They said since I am so little they lost me within the crowd. I just pushed through. I also chugged the beer as I got back to the table. We all laughed so hard. Then, when I put the glass down on the table, I broke it. Oops.

We woke up at 5am the next morning to catch a train to go to the airport. We were getting ready in the dark because 4 other people were sleeping in our room – it is cheaper to get hostels dormitory style.  As we’re getting ready we hear screaming outside our hostel. It sounded like these people were locked outside. They kept saying 2GO4!!! OPEN UP (2go4 was the name of the hostel). So we put our locks on our bags and had my blackberry out and ready to use if we needed to. We were freaked out but just had to face the situation because no matter what we had to exit where these two people were screaming. So we walked out and there were indeed two guys sitting by the door in tee shirts probably drunk. We let them in. They were harmless. And looked really relieved to see us because they looked cold!! We walked to the train station and went our way.

Some random things I saw/noticed in Brussels

–       Brussels has a lot of “peeing” statues. Not only did we see a peeing man but we saw a peeing girl as well!

–       I saw a dog pee and walk at the same time – it was quite interesting

–       I noticed that men hang out and sit together at cafes on the street ALL day long. I never saw any woman sitting with them or sitting at cafes at all for that matter. I wonder where they were and what they were doing?

–       Street signs are on the buildings, not on poles

–       The people were darker skinned than I thought. I was expecting very fair-skinned people.

–       In a lot of restaurants you have to pay to use the bathroom

–       The streets are cobblestone

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Responses

  1. Love the peeing statues!! Though with you being there, they should have been pooping!


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