After thinking Bruges looked pretty cool during the day, it looks so much better all lit up at night.
Onward to Paris!!!
When most people think of Belgium, they think of Brussels and that’s about it. The next day I took the train back to Brussels for the afternoon. It’s about a 45-minute ride and this journey was free with my railpass. I’m glad I’m getting some benefit out of it for all the money I paid for it. After exploring Brussels for a couple hours there were a few cool things to see, but overall I didn’t like it near as much as Bruges. Also, since it was cheaper to stay in Bruges, I went back there that evening. Here are a few pictures from my afternoon in Brussels though.
After exploring I finished off the afternoon with what else? A WAFFLE!! I didn’t think there would any coming close to the one I had the previous day but this one was up there, too.
Before I left Brussels I checked at the train station to see if I needed to make a seat reservation in order to go Paris the next day, only to find out that all the trains were booked until 9:00 at night As it turns out, there aren’t many seats reserved for Eurail pass holders on the high-speed trains like that one. So now I had another day to kill in Bruges.
Amazingly I somehow managed to catch my train from London to Brussels. I had planned to leave the apartment around 5am, catch the tube to the train station, and actually be there a few minutes early. Well plans change, especially that early in the morning. I got to the tube station around 5:20, and to my surprise, it was still closed. This was not good. I walked around the block and was forced to catch a taxi to the train station. This worked out well since there was no traffic. Thinking back on it, there’s no way I would’ve made it on time if I have of taken the tube. I arrived about 5 minutes before my train left, checked in, hopped on, and 2 hours later I was in Brussels.
About 10 minute after I arrived in Brussels, I caught a connection to Bruges. I decided to do this since I had to end up back in Brussels to take the train to Paris anyway.
Bruges was pretty amazing. The strange thing, though, was that every day I was there it rained until about 3:00 in the afternoon, then the sun came out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Belgium can be summed up in 3 words, as the title of this post implies: Chocolate, Waffles, & Beer. Right outside the main square (I believe it was called Markt Square), there’s a chocolate shop called Dumon. There’s is probably 1,000 chocolate shops in the city of Bruges, but I thought I’d give this one a shot. It was owned by a very nice older woman and what looked to be her daughter. I only bought 2 pieces at first just to test it out. I got one raspberry and one tirimisu. Both of these turned out to be the best chocolate I think I’ve ever had! So 5 minutes after I left the store I returned for a second round and got a variety box with 15 or so different kinds included. After the chocolate excursion, it was time for an authentic Belgian waffle. I stopped at a little cafe and here’s what I got.
It was amazing though because about 3 minutes after the waitress put this down in front of me, it looked like she hadn’t brought it yet.
Ok, so with 2 down and 1 to go, I had to try some of the world-famous Belgian beer. I was not disappointed. There’s a beer shop called 2Go that has a cellar in the basement of the shop with 750 different kinds of beer!! That’s basically every beer brewed in Belgium. I bought 3 or 4 different kinds to try and they were really cheap as well, I think only about 2 euros a piece. I had strawberry beer (good), peach beer (amazing!), chocolate beer (disgusting!), then a couple other normal beers that were pretty good. My hostel also had about 50 kinds of Belgian beer on tap, so I tried a few of those, too. By the middle of the afternoon, I was the happiest person in the world. Then the sun came out and I was able to get some good shots of the city.