Apologies for the lack of blog yesterday – I was sipping beer in Brussels!
I did have the most fantastic weekend away with Uni Housemate – lots of laughter, chatting, a little bit of sightseeing, much food and of course, an abundance of the wonderful Belgian tipple.
After a peaceful Eurostar journey there, we navigated our way through the city on the most confusing public transport system EVER! There seem to be 300 tram lines that all go to the same place off one platform, with trams that never seem to come – it’s most odd. There are two metro lines that don’t seem to go anywhere useful and the tram is, as far as I can tell, under the Metro.
Anyway, we overcame this confusion largely by walking everywhere. But on Sunday, we were brave and ventured out to Antwerp. But getting there proved to be something of a challenge. The road to the station was closed. We followed the diversion. The diversion was closed. So we followed my sense of direction and took a three-mile detour and missed two trains.
Once on the platform, a train rocked up. ‘Is this our train?’ we thought. There were no signs, announcements or any other clues that this was in fact the right train to Antwerp. So we didn’t get on.
The next train rocked up. ‘Is this our train?’ we thought and jumped on anyway, as by that time we were two hours late. This train, we discovered, was going to Amsterdam – so if it didn’t stop at Antwerp, at least we could have had dinner with Big Bro before trundling back to Brussels.
But luckily, it stopped at Antwerp and we dashed off for a refreshing, erm… lemonade, followed by a refreshing erm… Leffe.
I liked Antwerp best out of the two cities. Perhaps because it had more of a Dutch feel to it and Clogland is one of my favourite places. We met up with a colleague of Uni Housemate, took a boat tour and erm… drank more Leffe.
Back in Brussels, we went in search of mussels – teehee – for Uni Housemate and found them in an eccentric establishment with old men dressed as naval officers. It was quite surreal, so we had an erm… Hoegaarden.
And then, all too soon, it was time for us to go. But not before paying 57 euros for breakfast – *gulp – which we discovered was not included in the price of the hotel.
At the station we were looking forward to a chilled return journey back to London – but alas it was not meant to be. There on our train were hundreds of festival goers all returning to London, all having neglected to shower before boarding the train, and all smelling like last year’s socks.
Uni Housemate and I were particularly fortunate to be penned in by two such people of Australian origin – both boys – with questionable stains on their shorts and enough stubble to grate Parmesan. It wasn’t pleasant, and when they started snoring I thought Uni Housemate was going to hit them with her Teva sandal.
It was dee-lightful!
*Mental note to self – start saving for first-class travel from now on!