A Travellerspoint blog


2 Days; 2 Countries

View Europe 2010 on Khandilee's travel map.

Trinity and I had a bit of a rough start with our Belgium trip. We went to get the rental car on Friday afternoon and after staying up all day after working and finally filling out all the paperwork around 3pm, we got the car loaded up with our things and ready to hit the road......almost. When I sat down in the car; I immediately realized that it didn't have air!! F>(k THIS! I went back into the rental office and point blank told them that I didn't want it without air....

Well, the car that has air is 'on it's way here'. If we wanted to wait, we could. I told them to call me when the car was back, cleaned and ready and Trinity and I headed home. I wasn't home for 5 minutes and they called me....seems that they thought I was going to Prague and there's something to do with lack of insurance for Prague and Poland. I need to find out if this is true with all rental agencies or just this one....

So, we made plans for me to pick up the car in the morning; postponing our departure. Not really a problem as at this point Trinity and I are both exhausted!

Saturday morning; we picked up the rental car and headed out to Brussels. Our to-do list included; Belgian chocolate; beer; fries; waffles and the Mannequin de pis and his (much less known) female counterpart. As an add-on we decided to go see the atomium. Can you believe that there were people zip-lining from it...crazy is all I can say!!

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This was all accomplished by around 5pm...including drive time.

It's interesting that the more we travel the less impressed we are with things like the Grand Place Grote Market. As beautiful as it is, there is not the 'wow' factor that there once was....it's almost sad.

We had planned to stop back at the hotel for a quick nap then out to dinner and sample a few more Belgian beers....we woke up at 2330!! So much for dinner....neither of us felt like 'fixing up' for the weekend crowds at the bars so after a quick walk with Aco, we were back to bed. I blame it on the wonderfully soft beds at the NewHotel.

Sunday morning we decided to make our way to Luxembourg on the way home. We took the CitySightSeeing Hop On Hop Off bus and made our tour of the small city. Everything was closed (Sunday's !!!) so we grabbed a quick bite to eat then decided to head back home to Germany.


We found our way easily enough back to the parking garage where the car was parked only to find it totally locked down....seems it closes early on Sundays as well. After traipsing around the building several times looking like we were trying to break into the place; we decided that we were NOT getting in. Next stop...tourist info at Central Station across the street. The man at the tourist office was kind and helpful and tried to call the number that we had gotten off the garage security window to no avail...there was no answer! Once more around the parking building just to make sure that there wasn't some hidden door that we didn't see before then our final stop...the police station!!

I wasn't allowed into the building; had to push a button outside and try to explain my situation from the speaker. Finally a kind (and cute) policeman appeared at the door. He offered to call the owner and see if he would come out to open it for us and suggested that we wait by the garage; which we did. We sat at the garage like vagrants for about 20 minutes; I was resigned to the fact that we just needed to get a hotel room and stay the night and get the car when the garage opened in the morning. Trinity was not as resigned as I was....

Then a man emerged from the garage and opened the gate to let us in.....YEAH...SUCCESS! Off we went...

It was a swift visit to Belgium and Luxembourg. Much more to see and do another time but a fun way to spend the weekend. Now I really need to get the Ireland trip booked.....

More Photos Here

Posted by Khandilee 09:49 Archived in Belgium Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Brugge Part II

View Europe 2010 on Khandilee's travel map.

Yeah...It took me a little bit to get to part II, but here it is:

Brugge is BEAUTIFUL!! I loved it!! What a great place to spend a relaxing day away. The city was all lit for Christmas and there is an Ice Rink in the middle of the center with Christmas music and children laughing....yep, sounds just like a Christmas story; doesn't it!?

After a restful nights sleep at Charlie Rockets we started the day at another hostel, called Bauhaus. It's full of charm and has a very relaxing and cozy feel. "crammed full with impressive mirrors, old lamps from the Paris subway, neogothic arches, easy couches...." and an old clock above the bar that runs backwards! If I had known of this place; we would have stayed here (not that our place was bad).


Arron and I mapped out a walking tour for ourselves in an effort to minimize the time exposed to the elements. It was wicked COLD! Our next stop was at Pas Partout for some traditional Flemish cuisine for lunch. The atmosphere was bland but where it lacked, the food made up for it. Aaron and I both chose the stoverij (beef stewed in beer) with frites (fries) for a mere 10Euro.

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Next off to the Belfry....

For those of you that don't want to click on the link and are wondering what the Belfry is; it's a beautiful bell tower in the center of Brugge. Aaron braved the 366 steps to the top to take in the view (I stayed below and chatted with a gentleman from Ohio!)

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The rest of the day was spent wandering around trying to find other obscure points of interest without much luck. I was freezing and got a little bitchy (yes, really! Me! Bitchy!?).

We ended the day with a wonderful Belgian Waffle from a street stand....OMG!! I want to go back just for the Waffle!!!! It was perhaps the best thing that I have ever tasted. Beat the one we had in Brussels hands-down! Hot....sweet.....moist in the middle...crispy on the outside...... I'm drooling just thinking about it!


Aaron was attempting to pay for our parking and ended up breaking the machine. Here he is trying to get it all figured out....

The drive back was long...about 5 hours. Aaron was flying out Monday morning so we were late getting in and early rising to make it to the train in time to get him to the airport for the flight....

Aaron always finds a way to make things interesting. He took the train at 0512 and arrived in Frankfurt to the airport around 0700....flights were being canceled all over the board when he arrived. The flight that he had hoped to take was full and he wasn't able to make the flight. Food and water were being handed out to stranded passengers. People were camped out everywhere.....

He tried all day to get on another flight, without success. Around 10pm he called and told me that he was going to take the train back to Landstuhl. After he hung up, I looked up the train and it had a warning that the connection might not connect due to his train being late. I frantically tried to notify him (he didn't have a phone). Aaron ended up getting on the train with fingers crossed. Somehow, the train split and he ended up in Germersheim instead of Landstuhl (about an hour and half away from me) around midnight! I looked at the train schedules to see where we could get him so he could have a warm place to sleep and there were NO trains until 0430! I'm not certain of all the details but I think he slept a while in a phone booth and pretended to be a vagrant for the evening at the train station....

He finally arrived back in Landstuhl around 0600! What a nightmare!!

He is safe here with me for now and we will probably be having Christmas together....

Posted by Khandilee 11:11 Archived in Belgium Tagged automotive Comments (2)

Belgium....Part I

26 °F

Airplane Aaron Strikes again!

Out of the blue, I am talking to Aaron on the phone from Germany and he asks what I’m doing this weekend. I let him know that I’m off work Friday to do house-hunting and then off the weekend. So…..

After much discussion (well, not really that much), we decided to meet in Belgium! Brussels to be more exact…..

Early Friday morning, off I headed a mere 18 hours after getting behind the wheel in Germany and headed off down the autobahn towards Belgium! It was a smooth ride (if you forget about the fact that I haven’t driven a standard in a really long time), although a bit long. I got stuck in traffic coming into Brussels. I ended up at the airport nearly an hour late.

As I walked through the ‘arrivals’ area, I didn’t see Aaron. On my way back through, Aaron nearly walked into me as he was walking out of the little shopette. I nearly cried when I saw him. I hadn’t realized how much I really missed home. It was wonderful to see a familiar face. Thanks Aaron for bringing me a piece of home.
We drove around Brussels trying to find out way to the Grand-Place for what seemed like forever. We thought we had the right place and parked and found out that we weren’t at the right place so decided to have lunch because we were both starving. Lunch was at a cute little French Bistro tucked into one of the many little side streets. The cutest thing was that the bathroom was HALF-Way up a spiral staircase. The waiter had to show you how to get to it for fear that you would walk right past. I have to wonder how many people walked up then down then back up without finding the WC (bathroom/water closet), before they decided to start showing patrons the way!

When we found the Grand-Place….it was breathtaking. It’s a beautiful square with amazing architecture all around. And then, to top off the feast for the eyes, we were treated to HUGS!!!
We window shopped and of course, I had to stop for a bite of Belgium chocolate! Can you say ‘wonderful’!

By this time, we were FREEZING. Poor Aaron, only brought a sweatshirt for a coat and even with my wool, scarf and mittens: I felt like a popsicle.

We found a charming café’ where we indulged in coffee and an authentic Belgium Waffle. We sat right next to the fire and were thawed in no time.
As we were leaving the square on our way back to the car to head to Brugges, we found a leather coat store. After about an hour of deliberating and trying on of several different ones, Aaron finally decided to buy! I think he looks quite handsome in his new coat….

We found Santa, doing a little Christmas shopping taking a much needed break right before the Christmas Eve rush...


A trip to Belgium wouldn't be complete without seeing the Manneken Pis


On to Brugges…..

It was a short trip on the Autobahn (I’m feeling a lot more comfortable now, besides the little beater of mine will barely do 120kph), and we were in Brugges. It’s a very quaint little town. We found a cheap hostel to stay in for the night and although it isn’t 5-star by any means, hopefully it will allow us to get some much needed sleep. Especially Aaron…I don’t know how many hours he has been awake but I think he is starting to hallucinate now (not really).

I’m headed to bed now so will fill in the rest after we return back to Landstuhl tomorrow evening.

Posted by Khandilee 03:06 Archived in Belgium Comments (4)

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