Belgium = mussels, batman, and beer

Upon arriving in Brussels we got off at the wrong train station and dropped our stuff off at the lockers in the station and just walked into the city. We walked through a shady part of town that we were fairly unimpressed with before arriving into the center which we ended up being also unimpressed with. We saw Mannequin Pis which was unimpressive and tried Belgium chocoloate which was actually much better than any other chocolate ever.

Mannequin pis.

We were starving so attempted to get lunch at a very overpriced Ethiopian restaurant where the server was so rude and disgusted by our lack of French that she made me cry. The food was good even though the lunch was ruined. We then tried to go to the public library to kill some time and use the internet but they laughed in our faces saying that internet was only for citizens and then we didn’t really know what to do aside from eating chocolate samples at all the shops along the way. We laid in the grass next to a church and then decided to walk to the main park in Brussels.

It was pretty but as we were relaxing, we got flashed by a man in the bushes. It was really creepy and disgusting.

A couchsurfing member named Nil met up with us to show us around Brussels a little bit. He took us to the center square where we got our Belgian waffles and he waited for us to be true tourists as he told us that no real citizen of Belgium has ever even had a Belgium waffle and they were a foreign conspiracy similar to the Sound of Music in Salzburg.

The main square

We then went to a cute area finally and had a belgium beer with Nil. Afterwards he cooked us some vegetarian food at his place before we grabbed the bus and bags from the train station to get to Kenny and Agne’s place. We had a few beers with them and chatted for awhile. They are a really cute couple who bought an old building with their friends and are each renovating a different floor. They were really cool people to talk too. We said good-bye to Agnes because she was taking the train to France in the morning and then WALKING back to Brussels over the weekend.

The next day, Ellie woke up deadly sick and puking so we laid around enjoying the quiet house to ourselves and not very motivated to see any more of boring Brussels. After resting and Ellie feeling better, we decided we needed a day off from traveling and we needed an American day so we went to see the Batman movie at the movie theaters where you have to pay to go to the toilet during the movie! Even after you’ve already paid for your ticket and everything. Afterwards, we had pizza hut and then went back to Kenny’s. Ellie was still pretty sick so she went to bed early and Kenny and I stayed up talking alot about life in Belgium and politics between the Flemish and French in Belgium.

Kenny, telling me a funny story about the Notting Hill Carnival where he bought these bunny ears and parents thought he was a pedophile but he really wanted them because his friends band is called something like Killer Rabbits.

We were all too happy to leave Brussels the next day, both knowing that it was the worst place we had visited so far in terms of unique sites and things to do.

We took off to Bruges and were picked up by one of the facilitators of the couchsurfing website named Martine. She is a very famous member who has been on television and everything trying to promote the objective of couchsurfing. When we arrived, there was another guy also staying with Martine from Quebec. We all went to the grocery store where we got the makings for a very typical Belgian meal. We got pommes frites, mussels, and salad. We also got avocados to make guacamole as an appetizer and some Belgian beer. I had never had mussels before but with the aioli Martine had, they were delicious. I couldn’t believe I was eating them! After dinner, we were entertaining the idea of going to the Ghent festival in Ghent which is a 24 hour party with live music and plays, but Martine promised a tour of Brugge and good ice cream so we piled in her car. She gave us a really awesome walking tour of Bruges, showing us all of the sites and the Belfry tower.

At sunset. This spot is the most photographed spot in all of Bruges.



Martine, Quebec boy(whose name we can’t remember) and I in front of the Belfry tower.

Who knows what this man is but he IS made out of chocolate!

Bruges by moonlight was so romantic and medieval. We all got ice cream and then went to this little cellar bar off some alley that Martine knew for a list of 100 Belgian beers. It was great.

We went home afterwards. The next day, we dropped our bags off to the train station and then walked into town, enjoying the cute architecture of the little homes and the windmills around the perimeter canal.

Bruges was beautiful and as Martine felt passionately enough to tell us, the movie In Bruges with Colin Farrell is a rip-off and a poor representation of Bruges.


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October 2008
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