Brussels and London

I’m going to take us back about a week to when I went to Brussels then London…

Honestly, Brussels was mediocre. It seems the common sentiment is the initial reaction to Brussels is so-so but as you stay longer you begin to love it and end up not wanting to leave. Well, considering I was only there for one night and I spent most of the day I was there wandering around for a hostel or going back and fourth from my hostel to the train station trying to figure out how I was going to get to London, I didn’t have much time to fall in love with the city. However, I think I did manage to fall in love with Belgian waffles. Yuuummm. I think I had 3 or 4 in the day and a half. I also found lots of chocolate places and tried as much as I could for free. Delicious. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try mussels in Brussels (sorry dad) but maybe if I make it back again I’ll get the chance.

I took the Eurostar train from Brussels to London and it was a quick hour and a half-ish ride. In London I was staying with my cousins, Irene and her husband Geoff and their kids Maria and Abbie. I had also stayed with them a couple years ago when I was in town for a wedding and just as last time, I enjoyed every moment. For whatever reason it’s always different staying with family than with friends (or strangers) even if you don’t know them as well as some of the friends you might stay with. I wont get into the nitty gritty details but they all made me feel very comfortable and it was hard to leave.

My cousins aren’t exactly in the city center, they’re actually in Chingford, but I did manage to make it into the city a couple times. The first was on Friday night with Maria and her co-workers. We went to a pub near Liverpool Station for a going away party for one guy from Australia who was going back (he actually went to Wollongong University, small world, eh?) and the other guy I can’t remember where he was going unfortunately, but he was going somewhere else. It was nice to get a feeling of the British nightlife a bit and we Maria and I managed to catch the last train back.

The next day I took the underground into the city by myself and went to the National Gallery Museum. I then walked from there to the Museum of Natural History. That walk took me past the Royal Palace and Hyde Park. I didn’t actually get to see the Natural History Museum because I wanted to get back to the house in time to watch a Champions League football match with Geoff (who, by the way, is a huge Fulham fan for those wondering).

All in all I didn’t end up seeing much of London, but that was O.K. with me because I’ve already seen a lot and I figure I’ll be making it back soon enough as well. Thanks again to Irene, Geoff, Maria and Abbie for your wonderful hospitality and making my stay so enjoyable! Hopefully I’ll get to return the favor in the U.S. sometime.

-Phil

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