The 2nd part of the Belgium weekend trip with my fellow schoolmates interning around europe was spent in Brussels. From what i've heard from people who have been to belgium/fellow interns living in france, one day in brussels is more than enough to visit its iconic places. Honestly, I'm not sure about that, I would probably like to have a couple more hours (well Jerald and I had only 10 hours to spend in brussels) to enjoy the night lights and food more, nevertheless, we had a great time.
Well, before we headed to brussels, Jerald and I woke up bright and early for our complimentary breakfast at the hotel and headed for the Choco-Story Musuem.
Unfortunately we didn't have much time to stay and watch the whole chocolate making demonstration, BUT free chocolates is always a plus :)
Had to run for the train again for the 2nd time on this trip! The whole train running thing is scary. Its like running having mini shocks sent to your heart. Not good. Need to learn to estimate time better and give more allowance!
Unfortunately, we encountered a sad situation while eating here. We ordered 2 dishes to split and share because some of us weren't hungry and we wanted to eat other things like waffles after. When the waiter saw that we only ordered 2 portions he was pretty discriminating, and charged us less as if we were poor students.
Well, maybe we are, and I'm definitely not complaining about getting a cheaper meal, but it's so wrong to discriminate people BASE ON WHAT THEY EAT. Or if they choose to have tap water instead of 5euros coke. Get this whole judgement thing a lot when eating in the EU especially when I go out to eat with Jerald alone. Portions are SO HUGE here, I rather share than let food go to waste because I can NEVER finish. Why do people judge so easily. Its sad.
After lunch, we headed to the Digital Comic Museum. It was really really good. Huge museum which we didn't really have time to visit EVERY single thing, but managed to cover the bulk of it! It was so entertaining to read about the different types of comics and the process in from the individual sketching to the story board to actually forming and printing of the comic books. Definitely made me want to get into a comic series!
So continued to roam the streets until dinner time. I found Mr Bronze man. Remember Mr Gold Man from Amsterdam? Well Mr Bronze Man was just as nice, and he spoke in squeaks. Which was so entertaining!
Also we found Biscuits with a Message. One packaging said "Not only for good kids", and another "This is the Speculoos that will love you back". HOW CUTE IS THAT.
Famous Godiva Chocolate Strawberries everyone else convinced me not to buy and that I could make it on my own.
After walking around for a while with no where to go to, Daryl brought us all to this park that overlooked part of the city. Sadly, the cloudy weather meant not a very clear sunset view, but still, we had a nice walk there :)
That wraps up my short weekend getaway to Belgium. Visiting different cities in Europe is so much fun. The people and architecture of each country (even each city in each country) is so different all so very unique! I JUST WANT TO SEE THEM ALL!!
Can't wait to travel non-stop for 20 days during winter break! So glad for this opportunity to explore and live in Europe. For all the inconvenience and the getting use to a new culture, even sometimes the level of discrimination, being able to see these countries in real life and capture them in pictures, its all worth it.
9 September 2014 Brussels, Belgium
Hopped on to a Thalys Train to Brussels on an early Saturday morning, and then another inter city train to Bruges! Honestly, Jerald and I practically RAN to the train platform from the Metro 'cause we were nearly late, and the trains across the EU, they wait for NOBODY. Nevertheless,Bruges (or Brugge) greeted us with sunny weather and empty platforms, that called for a poser shot with the signboard. Very committed to producing evidence of myself in Belgium!After exiting the train station, we had a whole morning to kill before we could check in to the hotel, so we took a nice leisure stroll around. The 1st great thing about Bruges is, right outside the train station, there is VERY CLEAR map of all the tourist attractions in the area, and the 2nd great thing is that the attractions are all along the way from the train city to the town square. They were all so conveniently located to each other, that made navigating (for Jerald) so much easier.
First up, we headed to the MinnewaterPark, it was uninhabited, still and silent. Maybe because everyone was huddled around the bridge feeding/looking at the swans. By the way, why is there always A black swan in the whole flock of white swans? Time to google the theory behind that.
Bruges has this old town vibe maybe because of its architecture. Most of the building are in different shades of brown bricks, white, some red, accompanies by a dusty grey roof. There's a really nice synergy to the whole atmosphere.
The reason why Beer is so bloody cheap in Belgium (even other parts of the EU).
We finally reached the town square, and here's the Bruges Markt. I thought Markt meant that there would be flea market of some sort in the area, turns out it was more of a square. That being said, buildings surrounding the square were colourful and vibrant, adding live to the area!
Above is a picture of the Sacré Couer (sacred heart) churh, and below, we have the famous Belfort. We climbed 300+ steps to the top, and the view was cool, though it would have been better if there were more space in the tower.
With only one way up AND down, and with super steep and narrow winding steps, climbing up was a challege. After every 10 steps, you squeeze to the corner to make way for people coming down. Gosh! But we got to see how the bell operated, and there were stuff to read about on each level, that made the climb overall pretty enjoyable.
After we checked-in to our hotel, we met Ji Inn, Clarice, Daryl and Joan and headed to take the Canal Boat tour. The tour guide gave a tour in French, German and English. Always thoroughly impressed by the multilingual tour guides I meet here! And as much as I like walking around cities, a boat tour does give you another perspective of it :)
Ended off the night with awesome dinner, mini birthday celebration for Clarice, as well as drinking and talking in the hotel room about school, life, gossip and random people. Thankyou Jerald for not being bored while I rattle on with my friends ;) and IT WAS NICE TO MEET YOU DEAR FRIENDS! Had a good weekend of fun english conversations :) and sharing of internship stories!