Monday, 11 October 2010
Trip recommendation> Brussels, Gent and Brugges
Recently I travelled to Belgium for the very first time and I was nicely surprised! I organized the 4/day trip myself online. My itinerary was:
First day in Brussels arriving very early in the morning, we stayed at a very peculiar Bed and B in the city centre. I found accommodation in Brussels very expensive. We managed to 'see the old town, the mini,mini 50 cms Maneken Pis statue and all its streets surrounded by chocolate wafers and sweets. I couldn't resist to the delicious and inviting smell and i had a wafre with chocolate sauce! From there we went to the famous Tin-Tin shop and there is also a nice graffiti on the way of the Belgian comic character. On the Belgian corner shop we bought some original souvenirs! and from there to the beautiful Grand Place which reminded me of the Marienplatz in Munich but more impressive!At night we went to the numerous Mariscos restaurants where the typical mussels were on offer. I was amazed at the similar plates of Paella served at the Rue of Bouchers Beenhouv, you can't leave Belgium without eating Mussels either!. It's also worth it to walk around and see the different chocolateries! dont miss a visit to the EU parliament!
Second day in 45 minutes we arrived in one of the frequently scheduled trains to Gent. I bough online the ticket which allowed me to take any train going to Gent with the printed ticket to the Station of Gent-Sint-Pieters. Tickets to travel throughout Belgium for a reasonable price can be found at: www.b-rail.be. It's very convenient! Of Gent I loved everything! its buildings,its variety of bars (go to Flamingos bar!) and original shops,its canals ,its boats, taking long strolls around the city,its Castle,its bridges, The adoration of the Lamb of Van Eyck in the cathedral,its tram and even its bikes which are everywhere (watch out! you maybe run over by one bike,they go very fast!!) hotels prices in Gent are more affordable and of better quality. I stayed at a nice hotel very close to the train station,to save me time when i went to Brugges. We decided to stay for 2 nights in Gent and the next morning we took a train to Brugge (train schedules can always be found on the internet on the page i have given you before).I almost forgot! to travel by tram, get an 8 euro ticket for one zone ,from the station you can get tram 21 and 22 to go to the city centre.
Our third day we went to the famous city of Brugges, first i saw at the train station was the they were selling the Irish movie I watched a couple of years ago: "In Bruges", which I watched again after having seen the city and i actually liked it even more! At the station ,we bought a map of the city and it took us around 20 minutes walking to go to the city centre. We met a very nice Argentinian girl who was our travel companion in Brugges. About Brugges what can I say? its narrow and fairy/tale houses,its horses carriages,its canals,its love lake,its swans and its boats! the only thing i didn't like was the amount of tourists in Brugges and I also found some restaurants very expensive. Hotels were much more expensive in Brugge and you dont need more than a day to see this city, so im glad we chose Gent which is actually much bigger than Brugges and there are more things to do than In Brugges.
Last but not least, people in Belgium working in the tourist areas, speak many languages or at least the ones we encountered! even Spanish! so it's not hard to get by in Belgium eiher with French,English,German , Flemish or if you are lucky like us Spanish!
On our last day we walked around Gent before heading off to Brussels to take our plane in the evening!
Farewell to a land of beautiful buildings, delicious chocolates and with a clear European charm! I definitely recommend this trip for a long weekend break!ah! dont forget to bring coins to go to public toilets in Belgium, in most places you have to pay from 30 cents to 50!so dont drink a lot of liquid! i had to pay even in Mcdonalds to go!