Monday, June 29, 2009

Recaps: Brussels

Our trains from Switzerland into Belgium took most of the day. By the time we arrived in Brussels, it was dark outside. The part of town we were in was a bit sketchy, too, so I was glad when we discovered that our hostel was only a half-block away from the train station. We dropped our stuff off and went around the corner to buy a delicious pizza dinner, which we brought back to the hostel to enjoy. One unique thing about the Brussels hostel was that we had a private room, which was more than excellent. It was sparsely furnished - a bunk bed, a plastic patio table and two plastic chairs, and a lamp occupied all the available space - but just having the room to ourselves lifted our spirits tremendously. Without much ado we crashed for the night.

The next morning, we went downstairs for breakfast (a bowl of frosted flakes and a piece of bread), where we met Steven. You'll see Steven if you watch our videos. He's our age, a German major, and has been living in Vienna, Austria for a little over a semester. He's pretty cool, as well as a total linguistic nerd like me. On his suggestion, the three of us headed out to a car museum, which was interesting. Well, Steven and I thought it was interesting, anyway. Kristina rapidly became bored with the whole thing, so we cut our visit short. After that, we wandered around the city for a while, discovering odd sort-of playground type things, as well as getting cones of Belgian fries with strangely named sauces. (These fries are something else. They are dense, fried about three times over and absolutely coated with salt, and probably the most popular food in the city. Despite this being something like our entire lunch, the only one of us who even finished his was Steven, who got a small instead of a large.)

Brussels is not the prettiest or cleanest city in the world; we saw more than one fountain with all kinds of garbage clogging it. But it has a sense of humor. For example, the most famous site in Brussels is the Peeing Boy Statue, which shouldn't be as famous as it is - just a plain statue of perhaps a two- or three-year-old peeing water into a fountain. One night, when the three of us went to dinner together, we found another statue of a dog lifting its leg against a lamppost. Not a fountain, or anything worth going to find. Just a statue - lit up by a light with multiple shifting colors. To make sure you didn't miss it, I guess. Man, those Belgians are strange. :P

Overall I enjoyed my time there. The next morning, we caught our flight back to Ireland to see Mom and David.