Our day in Brussels was an afterthought, but an afterthought I’m very very glad we had!
When we looked at train trips from Koln to Paris, many of them stopped in Brussels. Joel started looking for an itinerary that gave us a few hours to explore. I decided to take it even further and got us a very nice hotel to stay in so we wouldn’t have to lug our luggage around. The train trip was extremely uneventful in the best way possible, and we were in Brussels mid-morning. Our hotel let us stash our luggage for a few hours, and we went to go play!
We wandered around a little bit, and then found a cute little Italian place to eat, complete with a house cat that lived upstairs. We split a delicious salami and olive pizza and a pretty rainbow salad for lunch. This may have been my favorite salami pizza of the trip. And considering I had many contenders for favorite salami pizza during this trip, I have no idea why I may have gained weight during it… it’s a mystery.
Once we were fueled for the day, I led us to the Grand Place, which was something the internet said we couldn’t miss. Well, sure, you definitely can’t miss this!
After gawking at the plaza for an appropriate amount of time, we wandered back through the streets and noted a multitude of adorable waffle shops. Some were…. themed.
Why so many phalli? Well, it’s in hommage to THIS GUY, the Manneken Pis. He’s the town mascot.
After some more wandering though pristine streets with beautiful buildings, we found a very nice garden and relaxed here for a few minutes.
The backpacks grew heavier and check in time was near, so we headed back to the Warwick and spent a bit of time in the room. I worked for a bit, then I took a nice, long, relaxing bath in our tub.
After this much-needed recharge, we headed back out in search of food and drink. The brew pub kitty corner to the town’s mascot called our name, and one of the three outdoor tables were unoccupied. It was kismet!
Since we had an excellent seat, Joel resolved to have a sampler of each of the taps. I tasted a few and then stuck to my favorites. We couldn’t pass up a Belgian waffle in Belgium, so I retrieved late-afternoon snack for us- we passed on the phallic variety and instead partook of one with caramel, chocolate, and whipped cream.
It was just as delicious as it looked. After two weeks in Germany drinking very light beers, the ABV in Belgium snuck up on us. Around sunset, we started the search for something to soak up all the beverages.
We were looking to try a restaurant Joel picked out, but they were reservation-only with just one spot available hours later. The need for food was imminent, so we wandered back to the Grand Place to watch the last vestiges of light disappear behind the impressive buildings.
Right there was a restaurant with an expansive menu that looked yummy, so we found a table.
We started with a charcuterie board, and then split a beef stew and fish and chips.
Because, Europe, both actually came with the chips as a side dish. Beef stew for proof.
The view did not suck. After a leisurely dinner enjoying the perfect weather and gorgeous scenery, we retired to our hotel and crashed HARD.
…because we did that, we forgot to buy our train ticket to Paris the night before. This resulted in us waking up, realizing we needed to get going NAOW because the only train trip option remaining left in 30 minutes. There was bit of drama with stops and missed connections when we should have had a very quick straight shot. What could have taken 2 hours took almost 8.
Was it worth it for one night in Brussels? You bet your Grand Place it was!