In December 2016 I was treated to a trip to Brussels, in Belgium by my boyfriend for my Christmas present. We stayed there for 3 nights.
I live in England and so, the journey to Brussels is not super far. We took the Eurostar for my first ever time and that was really cool. I don’t often travel via train but, it’s a known thing that they travel quite fast. Well, I had no idea exactly how fast the Eurostar was when I was on it (I now know it ranges from 100 – 186 miles per hour), but I was blown away by how quick it took us to get from England to Brussels. It was like, 2 hours? Crazy. We were tracking our journey on Google Maps and it made us laugh to see how quick the little blue circle was moving. You really don’t notice it, the train barely moves or shakes, it’s incredible.
In Brussels, they speak French. I’ve never really studied French in my life, being Spanish I’ve just focused on that, trying to increase my Spanish skills. I knew some words, ‘bonjour’, ‘au revoir’, ‘merci’, a few other words like ‘pain’, ‘fromage’, you know, a few basics. At the time of going, I had started using an app to learn Italian as my closest friend at university is Italian and to be honest I’d love to know more than 2 languages. (Not that my Spanish is perfect, kinda getting ahead of myself there.) I’d only ever been on holiday to Spanish speaking countries, so I found it really weird to be away from home and not understand what people around me were saying. I really didn’t like it. But then I thought, you know, this is what most people feel like when on holiday. Not everyone is lucky enough to even know one other language apart from their mother tongue. So I tried to get on with it.
One thing I laughed at myself for, was the fact that locals would talk to me, just in a restaurant or something, and I’d reply in Spanish cause I’d worked out what they’d said. And then I made an active effort to not talk in Spanish and try and use some of the French words that I’d google’d and ended up saying Italian words. I was a mess. It’s laughable though. It’s like, my brain was like, I hear words, they’re not English so must require a reply in Spanish! Then I told my brain no, not Spanish. So it was like ah! Must be Italian. No brain, French, s’il vous plaît! (Please in French, but let’s be honest if I’d have said that out loud I would’ve come out with por favor.)
A bit of a jumble of four different languages there, though I did try!
Let’s talk about Brussels. Locals were nice, loved the scenery and all the stuff that was around. I love cobbled streets, and old-ish buildings which Brussels has, so I enjoyed that. We arrived there during those few days between Christmas and New Year so we were lucky that there were Christmas lights up (which I love) and there were a few Christmas markets around. Obviously, I haven’t been to Brussels at another time of year so I’m biased, but I had a great time and it wasn’t unbearably cold. So, if you like Christmas lights and markets like me, I would definitely recommend going around December time.
Quick fact about me; I LOVE waffles. Like, sweet waffles you have with chocolate and cream (and strawberries- yummy). Potato waffles are okay, but you know the ones I’m talking about. I love them muchly. I don’t know if you know, but Belgium is kind of known for its chocolates and waffles. Beer too, apparently, but I’m sure this has helped you understand where my interests lay. Belgian waffles are sold in most places, for dessert in restaurants, out of special waffle shops and, out of waffle vans. Waffle vans? Yes. Waffle VANS. On the go waffles, what else could you want, right? I really enjoyed all of the waffles that I ate whilst in Brussels. If you’re looking for a waffle recommendation, I’d have to say, visit the famous statue “Mannekin Pis”, a major tourist spot. I had the best waffle ever from one of the stores there, I’ll try and attach a picture of it.
A few tourist places to visit if you decide to go to Brussels
- Grand Place
It’s just beautiful. I love that style of the buildings, at night, lights and colours are projected on to the buildings and it’s really nice.
- Mannekin Pis
The famous statue I previously mentioned earlier, funny statue and located near the best waffles.
This was awesome. Looked super cool and you can go inside and learn all about how it was built and get to benefit from the view from the top.
- Little Europe
We didn’t actually “visit” Little Europe, but we saw it whilst at the top of Atomium.
There’s also loads of museums and other cool stuff to do. We didn’t see EVERYTHING Brussels had to offer because we were not there for a large amount of time. However, I would still really recommend going if/ when you can.
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