Friday, 29 August 2014

Part 3 - All the B's: Belgium, Brussels, Brugge, beer...bwaffles...

It is our final morning in Brugge and we are reluctant to return to Brussels and then hope again. Perhaps we can miss the plane and stay here forever?

Somehow, despite the sheer quantity of food consumed the day before, our bellies were rumbling and we were ready for breakfast. We packed up our belongings, said farewell to our dorm mates and the hostel and made our way in the direction of the train station. We tried a few places and each shunted us on, with limited english, so we were mildly desperate when we approached a little hotel and sat down inside. There was a little old lady taking orders, and I said (probably too loudly as I am wont to do), “I doubt she’ll speak any English, we’ll have to point.”

Naturally, she spoke perfect English and I felt like a fool! Our breakfast was quaint, with a little pot of coffee (it resulted in 3 coffees and I was somewhat bouncing as a result), a croissant, a bread roll and some cheese. We took our time, gazing out to the streets of Brugge and then began the gentle trek to the train station. Farewell, Brugge. You stole my heart!

On our train was a huge, beautiful German shepherd (I will point out here – there seemed to be no problem in Belgium about taking dogs into restaurants and bars! Often you’d see a puppy under the table, or in this case, an enormous German shepherd on the train). Aside from watching the giant puppy (because all dogs are puppies), the train journey was uneventful. Alighting in Brussels, we stored our luggage in a locker (£4 for a large one, and fit all our luggage! #winning) and jumped out in the streets. About the only thing we really wanted to do in Brussels was see the Mannekin Pis, and so we set off to find it.

Again, Cory with his navigational brain, led us directly to it. It was a day of me speaking too loudly, as I exclaimed, “Is that it?”. It was tiny. What is it? It’s a statue of a child…taking a leak. There are many legends and stories surrounding the little dude, but he has been standing there peeing for almost 400 years. We took our photos and moved on.

We saw some pretty cool spray paintings of cartoon and comic characters adorning the buildings in Brussels, but by now the only thought on our minds was lunch. Wow, all we did was eat, pretty much. We found a place called Waffle Factory and decided it had to be the go. Upon approaching, we discovered they did savoury waffles too. Double win. These waffles did me in. Completely and utterly. My salmon, cream cheese and dill waffle followed by my waffle with chocolate sauce left me wide-eyed and unable to comprehend simple concepts. It was pretty amazeballs. Unlikely to be traditional in any sense of the term, but amazing none-the-less.

Brussels was rather drizzly and we didn’t really have anything we wanted to do in particular here, so we made our way to a little cozy pub, up a couple of flights of stairs and watched the world go by. It was a lovely relaxing way to end our time in the gorgeous little country of Belgium.

I unfortunately encountered my passport problems returning through Heathrow, so I will have to get this sorted out. I don’t want to go into details because I don’t want it to negatively overshadow my trip – but I have called and called so many people and they’re all happy to tell me they can’t help but won’t actually tell me what I should do. I’ll figure something out.

A final thank you to Belgium for welcoming us with open arms, and sending us home a much heavier version of ourselves (I discovered on Tuesday that I had split my work pants: #fatlyfe forever and Nicole, gonna bust you here, had to wear trackies on our last day). And a big thank you to Cory and Nicole for inviting me and putting up with me – I had an absolute blast with you guys.

Ok, time to hit the gym and get rid of this Belgium Belly.


Found a statue of Bela Bartok so I gave him a cuddle
That's it. The Mannekin Pis.
Manneken Peace, man.