Monday, August 20, 2018

Eurotrip 2018 - Day 4 (8/8/2018) - To Brussels

At the time that I booked travel for the trip, there were only two direct flights available between Iceland and Belgium.  Both left in the morning, but one was significantly cheaper than the other.  That is how we ended up with a 6:15am flight from Keflavík to Brussels.

We set an alarm for 3:15am, intending to depart by 3:45am.  After leaving 10 minutes later than planned, stopping to top up the gas tank, then return the car to Avis, we were cutting it a little close on time.  But we got to the airport before 5am, and went through the automated check-in and self-bag-tag without too much hassle.  We even had time to pick up some additional breakfast snacks before getting on the plane.  Although I was tired, I didn't really get any sleep on the ~3.5 hour flight.

We arrived in Brussels around 11:30am.  We took the train from the airport to the Brussels-Central station (which was an easy process that should be the model for all cities), and then wandered about to find our hotel (the Hotel Floris Arlequin Grand Place) in the middle of town.  We once again lucked out in having our room ready early, so we were able to stow our gear and rest for a few minutes.  After mustering some energy we walked out to Grand Place and happened upon a free walking tour that was starting within 25 minutes.  The temperature was in the low 70s (F), so it was quite comfortable all day; our time in Belgium coincided with unseasonably cool weather.

The walking tour was put on by Bravo Discovery.  It started at 2:30pm and lasted somewhere between 2 and 2.5 hours.  Fran thought that it was a good tour, and I thought that it was pretty solid as well.  The guide walked us around the Grand Place while explaining the history of some of the buildings, then took us through the Royal Galleries and over to, and into, St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral.  We then walked through Brussels Park, by the Royal Palace, and ended the tour at the steps overlooking Mont des Arts.

After the tour we walked to Rue des Bouchers in search of dinner.  We settled on a Lebanese/Pakistani restaurant called Le Prince.  I had their felafel sandwich platter with rice, which was pretty good; Fran had the felafel sandwich and an order of hummus.  After dinner we headed back to the Queen's Gallery so that Fran could buy some pralines at Neuhaus.  We ate some of them while people-watching in Grand Place, then wandered about some more.  We stumbled upon both Jeanneke-Pis and Manneken Pis, and wandered into an area in the southwest part of town called Stalingrad.  There we stumbled upon a street carnival, and couldn't resist a ride in the Ferris Wheel.

After leaving the carnival we walked back to Grand Place and stopped at at cafe for a (non-alcoholic) drink before heading back to the hotel.



1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Neuhaus chocolates taste as good in the United States?


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