Let’s avoid homework, it’s more fun when due dates arrive.
In December, I was lucky enough to have an old friend call me up and tell me to get my butt to Brussels. Did I? You bet. The farther away from highschool you get, the more you lose touch with people, but you get to keep the special ones (most of the time).
My flatmate and I left the moment my last exam was done for the semester- and I mean the moment. It was another one of those “we’re gonna stay awake for 24 hours – let’s go!!” kind of things. They’re worth it too (unless it’s an all-nighter- don’t do that unless you’re gonna fail otherwise). Despite mixed messages when it comes to Ryan Air, our flights there and back again were pretty excellent, nothing out of the ordinary. If you’re ever in the Brussels airport, you should go an try their beers. Worth the price.
I was able to find an airbnb, and after only a half hour of screaming at our phone maps- we made it, and it was one of the most excellent locations you could get. Literally STEPS off of Grand Place! We were above a chocolaterie, across from a chocolaterie, and beside a beer shop – steps (I counted ten) from a UNESCO world Heritage site. It was the shit.
My good friend met up with us a few hours later with her own friend, and we all had some lovely adventures touring through the many winter markets through Brussels! We saw the moon from only a few feet away – a fantastic installation piece for the local science museum, we got some ‘traditional’ (aka super touristy, completely delicious) waffles, and managed to eat our body weight in chocolate. That was day one.
If you’re of age, and most of you reading are or pretend to be, and if you get a chance to adventure out into the world and find yourself in front of a pub with a pink elephant, you’ve arrived. The bar itself is world-known for their extensive beer list – over 2,000, but has lots more to offer if beer isn’t your thing. Personally, as a fan of both beer and tequila, I found a lovely bit of the bar decorated in Mexico- style themes and tequila’d drinks to match. If you’re ever in Grand Place looking for a grand time, the bar is in a small alley called Impasse de la Fidélité, or Getrouwheidsgang. You can get some fresh frites while you wait.
The winter market’s popularity made the tourist traffic insane, so if you’re willing to bump elbows with thousands of strangers, go adventuring. Shopping in the Grand Place area is a little pricey, but if you walk a few blocks North, you’ll find some hidden-away malls and shopping centre’s that offer merch for a little more student-speed- but splurge on some good coffee on your way out.
The weather was cold (Hello December), so my group walked pretty quickly all through the places we could- if you’ve ever heard of the peeing boy & want a laugh, go give him and his sister a little visit (though, if you’ve ‘seen’ the Mona Lisa, it’s a similar situation). I even got to see some political opinion in the heart of Brussels! Of which I shared the opinion.
I lived so much life in three days, it’s crazy. And now, in the spirit of Brussels I’m hoping to travel to Amsterdam at the beginning of April – maybe there will be photos of tulips on this blog in the future!