This past weekend I traveled to Brussels, Belgium. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to expect. The word Brussels alone reminds me of Brussels sprouts, something I’m not overly fond of. So when I arrived in Belgium I was pleasantly surprised.
The city has cobblestone, windy streets with adorable buildings. Although it was cold and rainy, that only seemed to add to the charm of Brussels. We walked around and and saw the city: palaces, Manneken Pis, Museum of Musical Instruments, and Atonium being our main destinations.
Being in Belgium and all, I felt obligated to only drink beer while there. It was great trying different types. My beer drinking pretty much consisted of fruity types: peach, cherry, passion fruit…but hey it’s still beer! Friday night we went to Delirium, one of the most well known bars in Brussels. We were there by 10pm and it was already packed. There were three levels and you could tell that the crowd was made up of locals as well as tourists. It was a great atmosphere and a fun night in a new city!
Even more than site seeing, it felt like we were toured Belgium through the food–no complaints about that! My friends and I had true Belgian food too: waffles with nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream; fries with mayo and other sauces; Belgian beer; and lots of chocolate. It was heavenly. Besides from typical Belgian specialties we also had some delicious Moroccan food and amazing omelets!
On Sunday morning our group decided to take a day trip to Brugge. I’d heard good things about it from my host mom and other students, but I really had no idea what was so great about the place. The small city didn’t disappoint though! We took an hour train ride from Brussels to Brugge and from there walked into the city center. Brugge is pretty small and right out of a Disney movie with it’s cobblestone streets, canal, and bright little cottages. We spent the day eating chocolate and fries, drinking coffee, and walking around. All in all, a very successful trip!
It was great to travel for the weekend and see another country. I had also never stayed in a hostel before. Luckily my friends and I had a pretty good experience where we stayed, but it made me realize I’d be very nervous to travel alone. It was also weird being somewhere that I didn’t understand the language at all. At least in Spain I have a general idea of what people are talking about! Spending a weekend away from Barcelona just made it feel more like home. And returning to a rain-less, warmer place was pretty much the best thing ever.
Next stop: Valencia, Spain!