Diaries Magazine

Sightseeing Sundays-Brussels, Belgium (Europe Part 2 of 6)

By Shawndrarussell
We hopped on the Rail and headed for Brussels for a quick lunch stop. This was our first Eurail experience, and we absolutely loved it. Clean, comfortable, and relaxing as we both just got to chill out for a few hours and watch the countryside (which was a big bonus since our entire trip was of the cities since we only had 10 days). I can't imagine trying to drive and park everywhere-UGH!
The rail stations can be a bit intimidating, but if you go to the window, all of them speak English and are helpful. You just tell them where you want to go, and they print out tickets for you. You have to reserve the next leg of your rail travels immediately upon arriving in a new city. So, when we got to Paris the first day, we had already gotten our tickets to go to Brussels. We paid for a Select pass, meaning we had 15 travel days we could use to go from country to country. Check out Rick Steves' explanations of Eurail here. Rick Steves' Europe was our bible for this trip--easy to understand, great advice, tons of money saving tips, AND self-guided walking tours of each city; If you travel to Europe, you HAVE TO at least buy his Best of Europe (which we had) or specific guide to each country.
Anyway, on to Brussels. We only had about two hours to head to the city centre, grab some lunch and a few beers, and then head back to catch our rail to Amsterdam. I hadn't researched Brussels much because I knew it was going to be just a quick stop, but I had visions of chocolate, waffles, and somewhat fancy scene. Nope. Our walk from the train station showed us a city was covered in graffiti, a lot of the buildings were closed or shut down, and it just looked plain trashy. Now, I am sure that there are better parts that we just didn't have time to see, but we did find an awesome pub where the waitress didn't speak English so we had to point (this was really the only country that a service industry person didn't speak English). We had the best beers of our entire trip in this tiny little pub, and three different ones each they were so good (this pub is where I first realized that Belgian-style beers are my favorite). We didn't even eat because we had planned on getting something from the vendor that we had passed on our way into the bar but by the time we left the vendor had up and packed away. Oh well. The beers were totally worth it and a meal in themselves!
Sightseeing Sundays-Brussels, Belgium (Europe Part 2 of 6)Sightseeing Sundays-Brussels, Belgium (Europe Part 2 of 6)

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