Category Archives: Belgium

The One With The Brussels Experience


For the first time in my life, I experienced a country in less than 24 hours.

Our flight from Reykjavik was delayed for an hour, much to our dismay. Not only that we had only two hours of sleep – the guesthouse we stayed in was in a “party area” of city, and the noise was unbelievable – and we woke up early to catch the coach into the airport.

After three hours, we arrived into sunny Brussels, a total contrast from the cold of Greenland and Iceland. Some deft map maneuvering later, we found ourselves at Sheraton Hotel! Yes, we booked us some 4-star room in Brussels to pamper ourselves after days of basic accommodation.

The weather was so good (and I don’t mean the soaring temperature, it’s too hot!) that I had to get out of the room and explore town.

The Grand Place was my destination of choice, as of many tourists coming into Brussels. This city square was surrounded by a collection of grand, curious buildings, such as the magnificently spired city halls, as well as guildhouses adorned with baroque gables, gilded statues and elaborate symbols. The square is also alive with cafes of all variety, where tourists and locals enjoy their time in the sun with pints of endless beer.

I wondered into the Belgian Beer Museum, which was a total tourist trap and totally not worth my five euros. After that I ventured out into the outer rings from the square itself, into many alleys and backroads to experience, among others, fine Belgian waffle with ice creams, the famous “pissing boy”, a straight wedding on a gay street, as well as a trio of talented musicians busking on the street.

Soon my lethargy caught up with me, so Liping and I headed for dinner at the famous Chez Leon for some of the mussels this food had ever have.

Time was by then almost eight p.m. so these two tired travelers walked back to the hotel, and within an hour I crashed onto my oh-so-comfy bed.