Travelling in Europe – Brussels / Belgium – Day 1

Since Colombo in Jan 2013, this will be our first long holiday, by long, I mean more than one day and by holiday I mean somewhere which is not Kovilpatti, Chennai or Bangalore!

Belgium! Here we come!

Why Brussels? This is where we could find cheapest tickets to, after analyzing the Ryan Air website top to bottom and searching for more than half a dozen locations.

Kind of looking forward to this with a mixed bag of feelings. I am glad that I am going on a holiday though it is for just a couple of days technically. But I am worried about how the kids will manage. Colombo was fine. The food was close to Indian and we got a lot of dairy free stuff whereas Belgium is scary when thinking about food.

Pity that we live right beside the airport in Florence and yet we can’t find cheap tickets to fly out of here. We have to either go to Pisa or Bologna from here to get to anywhere decent on a cheap holiday. Which means , what should actually take a ten minute drive to the airport and a wait of an hour there has now become two hours to the airport and two hours wait, because we are not ready to leave it to the last minute, just in case….

I can see the major difference in travelling with children. I’ve been to Brussels before and what I saw then is going to be completely different to what I am going to see now. This time it is going to be the planetarium, science museum, etc… all geared towards keeping the kids entertained!

The bus journey from Florence to pisa was uneventful other than the odd couple of traffic jams. I slept through most of it. The odd time I woke up I saw that we were travelling between lush green hills and the odd patch of dried sunflower fields.
We reached Pisa airport with very little time to spare. We thought that today being. 9/11 the crowd would be less but the international airport looked like a local bus station.filled with people sitting on the floor and no place to stand. Thankfully with just ten minute delay the flight took off.

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We landed in Brussels with a minor delay…thanks to the head wind and boy were we  glad to leave the rain behind. Brussels was much cooler than Florence though!

Third time into Charleroi airport for me… This time it is the new terminal. Less crowded, clean and posh.

We took the shuttle to town. That took us about an hour. Went to the hotel room, freshened up and headed out again.

We took the metro randomly and got out at a station near the opera house. We were looking for Manekken Pis and this time again it eluded me.

We walked around the Grote market, Grand Palace, Town hall and took pictures of the lovely buildings. It was perfect timing as we got both evening and night pictures. Did a lot of window shopping and drooled over the lovely chocolates and waffles. Finally gave in to temptation and bought some dark chocolate.

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Walked in and around the area and it was interesting to see that there were entire streets filled with restaurants of the same kind of food,… Walked along the Greek food street and seafood street.

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We had some kebabs for dinner and headed back to the hotel.

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