Storypost | 2019.04.16

Train France Paris Brussels Belgium Thalys

Tuesday we caught the 10:00 Thalys train from Gare Nord up to Brussels. The pleasant two hour journey meant we had some time to kill before check in. One option was to check the bags and find something to do, but as I was down to my last pair of underwear, inside out, round two, we decide to find a laundromat between the station and the hotel.

Train station to hotel.

Brussels Belgium backpacking walk cafe

We were pleasantly surprised that, after dodging cars in Paris, the town center was more-or-less pedestrians only.

Brussels Belgium comic shop Tintin rocket Snowy

What's more, while Paris was rife with clothing boutiques, Brussels had a bit more variety. Bandes-dessinnees shops featured local heroes as well as international ones, there were cafes with Belgian brews and pastry shops that didn't expect you to order three-course meals. There was charming street art as well.

Brussels Belgium graffiti people riding cats Brussels Belgium cartoon smurf Tintin Houtsiplou Brasserie

We snuck a glimpse of the famed Grand Place, but focused on the laundry task. After a small snafu with being extremely used to doors opening outward, we navigated the detergent dispenser and washing machines. Well, Jes did. I snuck away to get a Tintin book, a coffee mug, and a Jupiler.

Brussels Belgium Stella beer too fruity

We moved on to the hotel where we still had a little time to kill, so we grabbed some local brews. Belgians really aren't my thing. After dumping our bags and freshly-laundered clothes, we headed back toward the town center in search of sights and late lunch.

Brussels Belgium Saint Michael cathedral Brussels Belgium Saint Michael cathedral butresses Brussels Belgium Saint Michael cathedral interior Brussels Belgium cafe

We stumbled upon the impressive St. Michael cathedral and toured its perimeter and inside, then found a convenient greek restaurant.

thumbnail Brussels Belgium Au Brasseur thumbnail Brussels Belgium grand place panorama thumbnail Brussels Belgium street thumbnail Brussels Belgium grand place panorama
thumbnail Brussels Belgium grand place

The walk back to the hotel passed through the Grand Place. After taking in the breathtaking architecture, Jessica crashed early. She was still on the tail end of her illness.

Brussels Belgium waffles night life

I returned to the town center and watched the ManU/Barca and Ajax/Juve matches at a local pub.

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