Interrail Belgium Day 1&2

July 28, 2022

 

 


Hello lovelies,

the day has finally come,....

my 2 months Interrail tour has officially started!

On the 19th of July I took the night train from Vienna to Brussels and slept in a sleeping coach. Normally when I travel with the train I get tired super quick and fall asleep. 


 

No idea why but I just could not fall asleep, I tossed and I turned (quietly, because I had another woman travelling with me and sleeping above me). At midnight I decided to go to the bathroom and after returning, I found out that the key card for the room did not work. I turned the handle, shook it, but nothing happened. 

The train was completely empty, it was night, and the light was scarce. I looked for the stewardess but she was not in her compartment, so I tried the next coach. Nothing. And the next. But just as I stood between the two trains and pressed on the button to open the next coach door, the button didn't work either. Horror movie? yes, maybe. I hope the button going back would work and it luckily did. Then I stood in front of my cabin and twiddled my fingers and hoped that the woman would come look for me. And she did! After 5minutes, the door opened. And you know, what I did wrong? I didn't press the key card hard enough into the door and there was 1cm left of the key card that should have been inside. Doh. 

I think I fell asleep between 4am and 7am because I woke up as we stood in Aachen, right before the Belgian border. We got breakfast from the stewardess and about 90mins? we were in Brussels. I wanted to get some ham for breakfast too but my so discouraged me to do so, as he claimed the meat could be open and unfridged the whole time. He was right but the breakfast was quite sad with only my cream cheese and cheese. At least I got a cup of green tea too!

Day 1, Brussels

The hotel was easy to find even but the area didn't look that nice. The room is tiny (but I stayed in smaller ones with more people at the same time. Stockholm, I am looking at you) and had a bathroom, toilet, a fan and a table. I was actually promised an AC on the hotels homepage so the fan was a bit disheartening. (I checked; the AC is broken not missing but still...) Having a hot day in Belgium without AC would be fun. 

I repacked my belongings and then went to the old town. The first thing I saw was the mannekin pis. It was a bit weird. I get that it's old and a legend and a few places use it almost like a mascot but it's..just weird?


But afterwards I landed at the grote markt and it was simply amazing. There was so much to see and the buildings were beautiful. 


Am I the only one who never touches statues?



Next I went to the Lace museum and it was a bit smaller than I thought but I could get a reduced entrance fee with my students card. Lucky me! And holy cow, the lace was amazing. I had never seen lace that delicate with my own eyes before. Pictures don't really do them justice. I don't even know how one did lace with such a small thread. The museum also had a special exhibition about childrens' clothes which was not my favourite, but it was interesting nevertheless. 

I made pictures of everything and I will probably make a separate post about it because I have so many pictures! 

Afterwards I went to St. Michaels cathedral. The glass-stained windows were simply amazing. The interior of the church was a bit plain but the windows! The windows! 



I got hungry and decided to go for lunch, and the restaurant was so good. I got orecchiette with tomato sauce, tomatoes, eggplant and shaved burrata. Absolutely delicious. The prices are a bit higher than in Vienna as I paid 23€ for my lunch and a drink incl. tip. 


After lunch I sat down in the park of Brussels and enjoyed the nice weather. It was hot again and very humid. The next thing on my list was the royal museum of fine arts. And I enjoyed it immensely. I love practicing everything I learnt at iconography and it's a special kind of serotonin if you know what is depicted on the picture without reading the name first. Too bad I lost my entrance ticket because I like keeping them as souvenirs for my travel diary. But I got an amazing book at the museum shop on "The flemish primitives" and it's heavy. very heavy. 


Apollo skinning the Satyr Marsyas alive


Ecce Homo, my brain always translates it to: behold, the homo instead of behold, the man. And yes, I will go to hell for that lol.

It's a wonderful burgundian gown in deep black

Me in the morning

Hello, it's me. The only one wearing a mask.

 

On my way back I found a spar express and grabed dinner and snacks. Comparing the prices to Vienna of food and groceries I do have to say that it's a little more expensive. Coca cola Vienna: 1,30€, in Belgium: 1,60€. The pasta dish was also 18€ which is way more than in Vienna but I think that I just chose a restaurant that was a bit pricier?

For now, day 1 is over and the hotel wifi is really bad so my videocall got cut off several times, we switched to audio call only but it was quite as bad. 

Day 2, Bruges

In the morning I took the train to Bruges and it only took about 60mins with the train to reach the destination from Brussels. It was a very cold summer day and felt more like autumn than summer. I wore my new rain jacket I found at H&M in the children's department. But it fits perfectly. At least in length, my big tummy is a bit of a problem though. (Too many sweets and chocolate and sodas. oops)


I then followed the signs into the centre (big mistake because I was following a rather new and boring path going outside of the city). I just thought to myself that it was super empty and void of any tourists or locals. But I didn't think about it and went around the church and to a canal.






I found a shop that was open and selling waffles, so I got the waffles with strawberry, ice-cream and Nutella for breakfast. What else? Can there be a more sugary breakfast? I don't think so! *wink wink*


There was a souvenir shop right next to it and after breakfast I popped into the shop. I bought postcards and a beautiful piece of Belgian lace. They did no sell stamps and instead directed me to the next post station. 

The weather was overcast, and it often showered before the sun came out. I was really cold and didn't even wear a stocking. I was cold all day and was really scared to get sick. But the city was really beautiful. I loved the small buildings and the cute canals.

 

I walked to the Kantmuseum and it was then that I found out that the day I was there was the Belgian national holiday and most of the museums were closed. No wonder there was no one around in the morning. But during the course of the day, the tourists came out and there were quite a few of them around after noon.  


Actually I wanted to go to the stadhuis but it was closed too, therefore I walked into the Basiliek van het Beilig Bloed church, cathedral and then the treasure room. It was nice and they also had a fashion book on dispay. I may or may not have taken a picture of every page. Maaaaybe.






 Afterwards I saw that the Historium Bruges was open and decided to get out of the cold and try it out. It was quite expensive but there were three attractions in one - the VR tour, a walking tour and a walk to the tower. 

I really liked the VR tour through old Bruges. I felt like in an old Assassin's creed game. The walking tour through the rooms was a bit ridiculous though. But good points first, the rooms were really nicely made and well decorated. But I felt a bit deceived because it was advertised as 500 years of Brugge history and then the tour was just a kind of love story about the apprentice of Jan van Eyck with his model plus a stray parrot? uhhhh, ok. They didn't even manage to close the loose end with the woman and the children who made the rosaries, which really confused me. Or I just didn't see what purpose they had. And after all that walking, I walked up a flight of stairs that was so steep and narrow, that I almost didn't get through with my rucksack. But the view over the grote markt was really magnificent. 



Look how narrow it was!
 


 

Slowly I really got hungry and decided to stop at a chocolate house. I ordered the ruby chocolate with marshmallows, and I like it, but it was a bit sour. The place was really nice, and it felt good to just sit down.



 

I stumbled upon a shopping street and bought dark brown leggings, which I wore immediately; I was still super cold.  It was then that I decided to go back to Brugge and leave the wonderful city, I thought it was nicer than Brussels even though I could not really go into the museums and look at the history. 



 I took the train back to Brussels and got ready for my travel to Amsterdam. It was a small Thalys drama in three acts but more about it in my next post!

All the best,


Auris Lothol

 

 

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