For Christmas I was one lucky lady and received the gift of 2 weeks inter railing from the boyfriend!!
The 1st of January couldn’t of been any more exciting, boarding the coach from London to Brussels ready to begin our mini adventure.
We arrived in Brussels an hour earlier than expected which, in most circumstances would be brilliant, but when you don’t know the place, it’s dark, freezing cold and 5 am so there’s no where to go, not so fun!
We decided to utilise the coach station, and wait for sunlight sitting in the open cafe drinking bad coffee straight from a machine that cost €2 a go.
Once daylight appeared and we had grasped our bearings (with help from google maps), it was time to stray away and discover what Brussels has to offer.
First stop, Grand Place and there’s a reason it’s got grand in the title!! Standing in the centre of the square, your surrounded by tall buildings containing beautifully sculptured architecture in parts gleaming with gold! We were lucky to arrive first thing in the morning, before it’s taken over by fellow tourists and walking tour operators. Early morning is the time to visit the square and get your photos!
We stopped for breakfast whilst we were here in a cafe/restaurant that contained a huge fire and was decked out like a ski lodge. I opted for orange juice and an omelette, Tom had a true Belgium breakfast of hot chocolate and waffles. Yes i admit it, I was jealous, especially of the hot chocolate. He was given a glass of hot milk and a shot glass of chocolate drops to add to his desired taste, naturally he just added the whole lot.
Once fed we scooped up our luggage and trapced around following different signs to places that sounded interesting. First was the Grand Palace, in front was a large garden wearing a snowy blanket.
Once we past through the sculpture garden we headed on for Palais De Justice! Once we had clambered up a steep hill, treading carefully for ice, we were greeted by an overpowering building, sat within heavy grey clouds, it was rather intimidating but beautiful at the same time.
From the Palais De Justice, there’s a street lift, which helps avoid the hill, however left us a bit lost. After walking miles lugging around all our luggage, it was definitely time for a pint!!! We found a small little bar to take rest and tried their Leffe, the glass was nice, taste to perfumey for our tastebuds!!
From here we decided to take a walk to the hotel we had booked whilst at the coach station, but we arrived a little bit too early. Not a problem, we found a pub and sat passing time away with a pint and pinball!
When we got to our hotel I was very impressed, it was modern, clean and cheap! Because we are smokers, we managed a free upgrade to a balcony room!! NICE!
From the hotel there was a place recommend on trip advisor called Le Bistro, which we decided was worth a try. Right decision, the staff were friendly, the atmosphere was cosy and the food amazing!! I opted for the mussels and did not regret it!
For day 2 we went to check out Mannecin Le Pis, a “must see attraction“. All the maps point out this water feature, and there’s many sign posts to lead way. On arriving to the great feature, I must admit I was a little bit flabbergasted by the petite size and the dozen tourists flocking around to grab a photo! I was one of those tourists who had to grab a photo, so perhaps i’m a bit of a hypocrite, but i was expecting something a little bigger!
For lunch we found a meatball restaurant, I am a vegetarian but thankfully they did cater to my needs!! €12 for one meatball did sound a lot, however when it came out and i tried it, totally worth the money!! Filling, full of flavour and a new taste!
Is it a trip away without finding an Irish bar?? I don’t think so. We had grabbed a map form one of the walking tours and they pointed out a bar selling €1 beer, we found it, and there were the words Celtic bar!! Cheap beer, without the usual perfume taste that comes from Belgium beers, so couldn’t complain. Yes it was everything you would expect from a cheap bar, fun dirty and plenty of chatty people!
When I first realised we were going to start our trip at Brussels I was a bit sceptical having heard from a friend that it was an officee city, however I left with a very different impression. We were just going for the one night, but enjoyed the city that much we decided we needed another night! Yes it’s not large, but it is Grand!!