I’m officially back home from my trip to Europe and am slowly trying to accept this new reality where vacations are over. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I had to go through hell and high waters to get my passport and finally take off but I can now confirm that all that ordeal is honestly nothing compared to what I got to experience in the end. While I have no intention to go into detail about the whole itinerary here, which in itself would take me forever, I thought it would still be nice to share some pictures and a general idea of what I’ve been up to lately. I’ll thus be breaking down these posts into three, one per country that I visited. The first one being Belgium.
I was in Belgium from June 20th to June 24th. The first day didn’t start as I hoped it would with over 70 000 striking workers and demonstrators taking to the streets of Brussels on the very day I was landing. This made my flight company reroute things so that I arrive in Paris and be put on a bus to Brussels (which inevitably added an extra 3 hours of commuting). The day was then saved by a buddy of mine who had the brilliant idea of taking out his two bicycles so that we could visit the city on the fast lane; it should be noted that I hadn’t ridden a bicycle in over a decade but, as the saying goes, once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget. The experience in itself was also unforgettable, allowing me to experience life in Brussels in a completely immersive way, instinctively contemplating the novelty and vibrancy of the city without much effort as my eyes and mind absorbed the environment while my body focused on pedaling.
The following days were spent discovering the city and all of its hidden gems (including the three peeing statues) as well as a whole day dedicated to exploring the nearby cities of Bruges and Ghent. Both were quite memorable in their own ways but Ghent felt more like a city in which I could see myself living while Bruges felt a lot more touristic, less like a natural ecosystem, as if the whole place was built around tourism and nothing more. My time in Belgium was also spent alongside my girlfriend’s sister and her boyfriend (huge thanks to him for giving us his place to sleep in), as well as two other friends (the one who showed me the city by bike and his girlfriend). I cannot emphasize how grateful I am that they all took time out of their days to spend it with me and my girlfriend, gave us countless ideas of things to do, and made everything just so much better by being themselves around us.
Having never been to Belgium before, it really was quite the thrill to explore the city. Everyone wasn’t kidding when they said that it could all be done within a day and that everything was also doable by foot. This meant that we could spend more time eating in places, discovering original and authentic dishes. In fact, I can already spoil you guys by mentioning that I haven’t eaten a single bad meal during my whole trip to Europe. The food was simply magnificent and I feel like I also ate their beloved chocolate every time I had a chance. While I did have more restaurants than I could ever fit within I day that I wanted to explore, I at least know that the next time that I do go back to Brussels, I won’t be short of options.
Next destination: France. 😉