BELGIUM - Travel in time

Belgium has an essence of a fairy tale. A cold architecture but with charm. Some little houses that are small works of art. It catches you and you're left wanting to return. At the end of a weekend, you feel it was too short a time. But thanks to the efficient train services, you can almost enjoy the country from end to end in a few days.

I arrived on Friday to Brussels Central. My cousin Andrea was waiting for me after a short train ride from the airport. I had not seen her since July. We have a really special relationship and I am very happy that she is enjoying her Erasmus experience. Sometimes getting away from our homes gives an opportunity to discover another life and find ourselves. You can see by her smile that it has been a great year. I appreciated Andrea sharing part of her experience with me.

The first thing that struck me was the Grand Palace of Brussels. It's overkill when you walk in and see those different buildings. It is a real wonder. 

Then we went to eat and yes, the drink menu was almost bigger than the table. 😳😳 Imagine being indecisive in Brussels...

If there is something mandatory in Belgium it is chocolate. I am passionate about this little pleasure. I was really surprised by the stores because they were like jewelry stores. Chocolates presented as real diamonds. Yes, the price is high, but how are we not going to bring back chocolates from Belgium? Instead, I bought them in the Christmas markets because the chocolates were cheaper. I have to admit that I ended up a little saturated with chocolate. 3-4 stores are fine, but when you see 10-12 it is enough. 😥🍫

Another thing that surprises you in Brussels is the "obsession" they have with the Manneken Pis. It is everywhere, in all the souvenirs... it is pure adoration of this iconic sculpture. It's not a big piece of art (a bronze statue of 65,5 centimeters), but its power comes from what it represents. It symbolizes the independent spirit of its inhabitants.

Brugge is a wonderful part in the Belgium fairy tale. The main attraction are its channels. Many people travel the town in small boats. And their little houses are pure love.

Leuven, the town where my cousin is studying, was also a nice discovery. The Town Hall Square is really amazing.

Chocolate, beers, architecture and many people speaking Spanish. I think it's the European country, outside Spain, where I've heard the most Spanish. I was really curious. The only thing I did not like about Belgium is the need to pay for everything. To go to the bathroom at the train station, € 0.50, if I want mayonnaise on my potatoes, € 0.70 +, they offer you water kindly but you end up bringing a bottle that costs € 4.50. Yes, water, a necessity for life, is more expensive than beer.

And last but not least, the waffles. They are my undoing. I lose my composure. I enjoy them at unsuspected levels. (There is a graphic document*)

Belgium, I will return. You won a small piece of my heart. 💛💥🙃✨


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