Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm a TOURIST! pt. 1

Add ImageWhile I'm in Brussels I will attempt to be a tourist on as many occasions as possible (which I am now learning could be very few and far between).  In addition to being a tourist in Brussels I would like to see Antwerp, Bruges, Rotterdam and Paris.  The first two cities are local... half an hour to 45 minutes on the train.  Rotterdam and Paris require a little more than a day, with probably one over night.  Both of those train rides are still under 2 hours on the High Speeds.

OK... So my first few days I did light tourism because I was trying to get acquainted with the city and know what was around.  I avoided public transportation for a day or two and just walked everywhere, only learning that my apartment isn't very close to the center of the city.  I needed a Duvet cover and had to go to the Centre Deux, a department store.  I knew approximately where it was, looked in the direction and just walked.  I found this cool orange wood sculpture down a street entirely by accident, the thing was massive, extremely dense and towered over the street like a cloud.  

Another day I got the chance to meet up with someone who lives in my building and works at the EU.  He got me into the EU Parliament which is a massive network of structures that is for all intents and purposes a miniature city.  I saw the main meeting rooms with all the different language translation boxes.  It was a fun experience, I imagine similar to getting to see the inner workings of the UN in NYC or Geneva.  The image is of the unnecessarily foreboding entrance.  

That afternoon I wanted to measure how far a walk it is from my apartment to my office.  I would like to walk it every day, but the time involved was a little much.  That night I found the huge pedestrian district with the "restaurant alley" that I wrote about in a previous post.
  The overall district is pretty lame; most of the restaurants, chocolate shops and retail spaces were boring chains.  It was mostly tourists, as I wasn't the only one taking photos but it was fun to people watch.  I also found "Chinatown" which is comprised of one street with about 3 Asian grocery stores and a few Chinese restaurants.  Its the only place I'll find Jasmine rice, soy sauce or sesame oil so that's where I'll have to go.

My final tourist day was Sunday.  I took the metro out to my office for a real estimate on my daily commute and found a cool little chocolate shop with some good prices.  I'll talk more about it, but the short of it: Basil Truffle... delicious.  My second and major stop for the day was THE ATOMIUM!  The Eiffel Tower of Brussels... and vastly underwhelming.  
Basically it is a big ugly set of spheres that you can occupy, and they're tall or something.  Oh, I thought the only real way to represent this place was with a Waffle.  You guys read the post about waffles right?  Anyway, I'm gonna go and get some sleep... Three 12 hour days in a row are taking their toll.


  1. There should be a waffle in every photo you Waldo

  2. I thought the same thing as xmarxthespot - or more like the Expedia traveling gnome. Unless that's the same waffle from the other day that you've had in your pocket...

    Sounds like an interesting city. I think that getting out into the country will be very cool.

    I went to the Pacific today and had BBQ Oysters -a first for me. Walked the beach in barefeet. I'll be working the a.m. shift starting tomorrow.

    You'll have to teach me how to Skype. If Grandma can do it... Can I?

  3. you should do some sort of "geo-tagging" in addition to the blog...i don't know, cause some of these pictures look great...and i am sure you have a lot more...

    and def. more waffleage