B R U S S E L S + B R U G E S , B E L G I U M

The day began with quiet tumultuousness. Paige and I waited at the stop in the lovely English early-morning weather for forty-five minutes as we watched every bus except the one we needed zoom by.Nine somewhat painful hours and a broken coach door later, we arrived. The world’s most reckless taxi driver took us to our hotel, which felt like the Plaza compared to a hostel. The room was huge and equipped with two full beds, and the bathroom had a giant bathtub. You could say I was in heaven—what a nice change from a rock hard twin bed and communal shower stall!☺

An hour or so after getting settled, we set out to find what we came for—WAFFLES. Just kidding… mostly. The receptionist told us there was a waffle restaurant a short walk away, so we braved the frigid Belgian wind to no avail. There was no waffle place to be seen, and let me tell you, we searched harder than most self-respecting people would do for any carbohydrate. We got pizza instead, which was great and came with a delicious chocolate dessert pizza. Mmmm. We were exhausted from sitting all day (which I will never understand), so we went back to the hotel to have a movie night and relax. We promptly passed the heck out about five minutes into the movie.

Day two was our day to see Brussels. We visited the Palais Royal, Grand Place, a museum, and went up and down the city center streets. We both loved the architecture, chocolate, kind people, and multiple statues of children/animals peeing that we’re still a little confused about. There was a whole exhibit in the museum dedicated to costumes for the famous peeing boy statue: the Manneken Pis. Most importantly, we finally got our waffles!

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We spotted a fun looking Chinatown-esque street and decided to walk down it. Waiters from every restaurant instantly approached trying to get us to come eat. They complemented our perfect English, and gave us coupons and hugs. It was definitely a different experience from anything else I’ve seen! That didn’t happen in any other street in Brussels, though. Maybe it’s a ‘fun looking Chinatown-esque street’ thing.

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Bruges was charming. I fell in love with it instantly. It felt like the town from Beauty and the Beast, which is incidentally my favorite Disney movie, so I loved it a little more because of that. There were cobblestone streets, a canal, and more chocolate shops than I could count. We bought some sour candy and ate it on a bench in the town’s main square, the Grote Markt, while people watching. It was so peaceful and interesting to watch tourists and residents go about their travels and daily life.

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Paige and I went on a boat tour through the canal and saw a lot of Bruges while a lively old man told us about its history. Hannah Montana’s “This is the Life” was stuck in my head the entire time, and there’s just no stopping that song.

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