Eurotrip 2006 Bruxelles
a story in 3 unequal parts
Trains, Boats and Planes
Athough the primary object of my annual Eurotrip is to visit mum and the boys, we also try an take in an excursion ; last year Brighton, this year Bruxelles.
Since we had just flown in from HK and were going to fly back and forth to Dublin, we decided to take train to Bruxelles. I have never been on the Eurostar and I wanted to experience it before the Eurotunnel creditors foreclose. I was suprised that it was such an exceptionally pleasant trip so pleasant in fact that Lille or Paris is on the cards for next year (creditors permitting) - alternatively we may go to Skegness. In any event I recommend consideration of travelling Eurostar to the continent as an alternative to the chaos of UK airports - I am not overly partial to noisy hovercraft(?)/hydrofoils/cross channel ferries either.
Shopping and Site Seeing
No "adventure" is complete without siteseeing and shopping . We did all the standard "free" walk about things ie Grand Place ; Royal Shopping Malls, Flea Market etc. We did them all quickly because it was so cold (and we were busy checking out restaurants). I was however slightly a bit taken aback by the crowds arround the Mannekin Piss especially the number who were Chinese. The chocolate shop on the corner was being market sensitive and had a sign in the window in chinese announcing that putongua was spoken. There is in fact a small "chinese" district near St Catherines with chinese supermakets and a small casino targeting chinese punters.
I had a hidden agenda on this trip; I wanted to buy a set of "boules" This was an outstanding action from the last Eurotrip and it was a consideration when chosing Bruxelles. The hotel pointed us at the sports shop in the main mall where we secured a cheap (and seriously heavy ) set containing 8 "boules" which we then lugged back to UK . I have no idea what security though they were (assuming they Xrayed the bags) when we flew thm back to HK but no one stopped us. We now entertain the locals and the mozzies in South Horizons at weekends playing in the secluded garden behind Phase 1: