Monday, August 25, 2014

Farewell to our barge

Its Saturday morning and it is time to say goodbye to our new friends as we go separate ways.  It was a great week and we are certainly convinced it is something we will do again in the future in another place.  
Russ and I headed off to the bus stop with the 6 Canadians as we weren't going back to Amsterdam with the others.  Same walk as yesterday, just a little harder with luggage.  Really nice bus driver gave us a group ticket because there were 8 of us.  (€1.50 each instead of €3).  Got to the station in plenty of time today, so we went to get a cuppa.  Canadians decided to catch the other train about to leave.  We were in no rush.  Whilst waiting, the latest lot of Mercedes Benz went past.  Must have been hundreds heading somewhere.
The train before ours was running a little late.  It arrived and most got on it.  Russell then glanced at the timetable to notice that our platform number had just been changed (there was an announcement but it was in French and Flemish). So we sprinted again at Ghent railway station to get to the right platform.  Once again, just made it as the train pulled in!   What is it about this city and timetables?
So we have started  our journey to Brussels.  Start chatting to the people next to us.  They are from Shepparton.  Half of Victoria are over here I think.
There are three main stations in Brussels.  We got off at Central.  Should have got off at Zuid-Midi as it would have been closer to our Hotel. (Zuid means south in Flemish as does Midi in French apparently).
Everything here is written in Flemish and French, just to keep all the locals happy.
The walk wasn't too bad, just a little rugged with a suitcase as all the pavement is cobbles in some variety.  Our room was ready so we could get in before lunch.  The hotel room is quite okay, but the location is probably less than desirable.  
We walked into the city centre for lunch, where we found the usual old buildings, large market square surround by grand buildings.  
The photo above shows the finer detail of the building above.
The Royal arcade was quite spectacular as well.  Very upmarket.
Very busy here today as it a Saturday.
Belguim and Netherlands have a friendly rivalry (Belguim was part of the Netherlands for a long time, becoming independent in 1830), especially when it comes to waffles and pomme Frits (chips with Mayo).  Today we had to try a waffle, our first one.  Every second shop sell them.
Which one did we choose?  The healthy one of course with strawberries. (Janet, notice the size of the Nutella jars!)
We are going to have to work hard at Gym on our return.
We didn't try the above, but the display looked great.
During the afternoon, we wandered to look at yet another church, another St Michaels.
It was spectacular as usual
Back to the hotel for a while, it can be exhausting be a tourist.
We caught the hotel shuttle into the city centre where all the action was.  One of the Belguim specialities is Mussels.  So I had mussels in Brussels with Russell for dinner.
It was a massive pot full.  Delicious.
The paella was pretty good too.
On our way back to catch the courtesy bus, we spotted this shop.  Had to take a photo to show we aren't playing favourites (since we keep visiting Churches named after Michael)
Another day ends.  Tomorrow we head to Flanders and Ypres for the Menin Gate ceremony.  Au revior (or something like that).

1 comment:

  1. 5 kg nutella jars - I would naturally have to get 2 and put 1 in each pannier bag just to keep the bike balanced!!!