Oh happy days! I’ve finally ventured beyond the borders of my host country like a good study abroad student that I am, and I’m excited to update you daily on my Belgian adventures.
Though I have a tendency to announce ambitions projects and then not follow through on them all, I am hoping to also put together a guide for each city I visit with a breakdown of my itinerary, so that y’all can follow in my footsteps one day. [Please hold me to this].
I arrived in Brussels around 2 p.m. and successfully navigated two different modes of public transport en route to my Airbnb in the city center. I will say, the Bordeaux tram spoiled me because the underground metro felt crowded and a little claustrophobic. I nearly missed my stop because I wasn’t aggressive enough when pushing apart the crowd…
My Airbnb is very centrally located, only a 5-minute walk away from the city hall, and I have an entire apartment to myself. So, should you ever need a housing recommendation, I’ve got one for you.
It was and is raining so I only ventured out briefly into the city center, but it was worth nearly freezing off my fingers for the fantastic photos I got. Brussels greeted the Chinese New Year fully prepared with festive red & yellow decorations found all over the city. My personal favorite was a fantastic chocolate shop display featuring a floating golden dog (it’s the Year of the Dog, y’all).
Speaking of chocolate, IT IS EVERYWHERE. I am technically not supposed to eat any due to my endless acidity issues, but I don’t have enough self-control to walk by chocolate shops at every turn, inhale the aroma, and not taste some. It’s a good thing I brought my antacids. The first thing on the to-do list for tomorrow is to try some Belgian hot chocolate, which, as it turns out, is prepared by dipping a literal chunk of chocolate of your choosing into steaming milk.
Full disclosure, my first stop after dropping off the bags was at a waffle shop. For € 5,50, I received a sizeable gaufre (Belgian waffle) literally piled with fresh–and I mean FRESH–strawberries. I may just have waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this week because they are incredible here. Even the bordelais version is no match to the true Belgian waffle.
Because I am an adult who refuses to follow conventional dinner rules, I chased my waffle with some fries. They are indeed as good as everyone claims. A highlight of the purchase was the fact that the vendor, who spoke English to every other person in line before me, assumed I was French immediately. In fact, I’ve had at least three separate people strike up conversations with me in French. It may have something to do with the fact that nearly everyone in Belgium speaks some French, but let’s pretend it’s because I look the part at last.
After wandering around and acquiring a baguette and some cheese like a true Frenchwoman, I finally returned to my apartment to warm my barely moving fingers. Tomorrow will be a super busy day with the Magritte museum as a definitive highlight (did someone say my favorite artist of all time?) Check my Insta and stay tuned for an evening post!