|Will immediately hit vacation mode.|
We flew in early on the 4th. We caught the train from the airport to the city center and wandered around town...partly looking for our hotel, partly killing time because check in wasn't until 2. After two hours, we saw a good amount of the area surrounding Grand-Place, but we still had no idea where our hotel was. So Will finally caved and asked for help. Turns out the hotel is like two blocks from the train station. Aagghh! We checked in and then immediately crashed. We woke up for dinner and went for a walk through Grand-Place...and then immediately ran for cover when it started pouring. We spotted Hard Rock and got a table within 5 minutes. I've never had that happen! We really wanted to eat at a local restaurant, but the rain was relentless and we didn't bring our jackets. But we were rewarded with free beers since we are American and it was the Fourth of July. Yay!
The next day we went on a 3 hour walking tour of the city. Normally walking for that long will make me cranky, but our tour guide (Dee) was amazing! First of all, she's from Ireland and had an awesome Irish accent. On top of that she was full of interesting facts, hilarious jokes, and stories about the city.
|former stock exchange building, future beer history museum|
|St. Nicholas Church|
|Manneken Pis (and our guide, Dee)|
|Les Galeries Saint Hubert|
|The city is full of cartoon murals|
|St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral|
Sunday was our lazy day. We slept in, ate tons of food, did a little shopping, and just wandered around. We debated taking a day trip to Bruges or Ghent or Antwerp, but in the end we wanted to keep it a lazy day. We stumbled upon a handball game going on in Grand-Place and a 3x3 basketball tournament in front of La Monnaie. So surreal seeing the games being played in front of huge historic gorgeous buildings. We had to go into the Tin Tin and Smurfs shops. My husband indulged my book fetish and let me buy books on both comics' histories. I can't wait to read them!
The trip was exactly what Will needed to decompress so it was a hugely successful vacation. I'm already having major travel withdrawal and I'm already planning our next one.
|Frisian handball in Grand-Place|
|Guess where the Tin Tin & Smurfs comics were created?|