I can remember planning for this trip like it was yesterday. This has to be my best summer in my life so far. Well, I’ve only had two official summers, unofficially, its always summer where I come from.
A quick snapshot on this series. This was a self-planned, 2 and a half week budget summer vacation. I had planned to tour different cities in Belgium, Luxembourg, Paris and Amsterdam. Well I didn’t make to complete my itinerary but you’ll just have to keep reading to find out on the places I managed to explore and the incredible adventures that ensued. Basically, I had all things figured and pre-booked – flights, trains, buses, walking tours and hostels and this helped a lot as I didn’t have to worry about this when I was on my ‘vacay’.
My first stop was Belgium, Brussels to be specific, this is where I booked my inbound and outbound flights from Copenhagen airport which was the most convenient route near my uni in Sweden. How I managed such a trip as a student one might wonder? Well, I made a friend in Uni whose mum happened to live in Brussels, just 3 train stops from Brussels central 🙂 – how prime? and they offered to have me for some days in summer when I told her I wanted to travel.
Side note:This is an incredible way to travel when traveling on a slim and lean budget. It was a wonderful stay for me and the hosts were amazing. My friend Diane, actually joined in on the trip which made it super! Pleasure and great company, I couldn’t have asked for more.
I arrived in Brussels around 5pm and of the few lucky times someone gets to picking me up at the airport, this was one of them. Diane had traveled 2 weeks prior and offered to pick me up. We took a bus instead of the train straight back to her mums apartment, it was around a half an hours bus ride. I remember thinking to myself how normal and real Brussels was. The city, the people, the streets. With Sweden, I had seen in my opinion,an ‘unimaginable’ level of order and working systems. But with Brussels it was more real, more imprinted with a sense of human recklessness. I’m not saying that this was necessarily a better thing but it felt warm and imperfect, that made me feel a bit relaxed, perfect mindset when vacationing. I didn’t do much for the first day, just went in to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. Since I was in and out of Brussels (you’ll understand why once I write about my next trips ) I got to see different parts of Brussels in different days.
As usual I took a walking day tour around the city to learn about the city, its history and culture. To be honest, I wish I had written this earlier maybe I would do a much better job of writing this piece but don’t worry my recollection is pretty decent. We visited some churches, the town hall, the grand place, the royal square which was quite busy plus many more places. For me the places that stood out on the tour were the church of St. Nicholas,
the comic art strip,
and manneken pis. (sorry guys couldn’t find this photo on my collection)
On the comic art strip we managed to view a few of the murals in the streets of Brussels. This is quite an interesting twist to promote city tourism. What was particularly catchy with the church of St. Nicholas were the Gothic -like, demon-like sculptures on the walls, probably famous in its century of construction. Then there is manneken pis, my most vivid recollection i have to say. This is a small pissing man mannequin on the streets of Brussels. It had a huge flow of tourists I have to say and a hilarious story of how it had been stolen previously and also severally. Well there was a lot to see and after the tour we were hungry and tired. Of course we went for some Belgium waffles! and No they did not disappoint. I wouldn’t leave Brussels without visiting the atomium. We went there on an afternoon and just sat down in the gardens for an hour and talked about our summer trip (I was at the atomium the last day before heading back to Sweden). Its quite huge and you can see it from different locations when in the city, I saw it everyday I was at the apartment in Brussels and when I was there it was in deed humongous. Well those are the memories of the places I wish to hold with me forever on Brussels city 🙂 and the beer, that was great too;)
Next stop after Brussels was Ostend, Belgium- lots of sunshine, sand and met a genius too!
Next Up: Belgium adventures >> Ostend
Amateur photos taken by Xperia Z2