Travel in Belgium in 2012
This was a whistle stop trip as we only had two nights and three days in Belgium. The point of the visit to Belgium was essentially for my husband to look at boats. Fortunately Belgium is a small country making it possible to squeeze in a fair amount of sightseeing around the boat viewing. It's the ideal place for a long weekend or city break.
|Eurostar train times ex London|
We arrived at London Heathrow early Friday morning and took the tube to St Pancras Station. That cost around £5. From there we took the Eurostar, which traveled south through the UK, into the underground tunnel, back up and on to Lille in France, ending up in Brussels. The train takes 2 hours from London to Brussels and cost £69 each. There is a one hour time difference between the UK and Belgium so bear that in mind if you make any travel connections.
Turns out the Eurostar is a great way to get around much of Europe. There are trains to Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. See more here - Eurostar.
|Ibis Ste Catherine|
The Belgian weather is a lot like Holland and Britain. It's a sequence - the sun comes out and then it rains - all day long. We arrived at Gare du Midi/Zuid Station to a chilly, drizzly Brussels. We usually stay at Ibis Hotels since we always look for bargains. The cheapest Ibis was Centre Ste Catherine which was in the heart of the city. It wasn't the most upmarket area but their rooms were of the same standard we have come to expect from Ibis Hotels. Affordable, comfortable, clean and decidedly compact. Most services are usually extra at Ibis, however in this particular Ibis, wi-fi was free.
|Tin Tin fresco|
Read more about Ibis here - Ibis Hotels.
Ibis do a buffet style breakfast, for a fee, with emphasis on local cuisine. We always eat breakfast out.
One reason is because we usually find cheaper food elsewhere and the second reason is that it gives us a chance to explore the place we are visiting.
Breakfast on our first day wasn't great. We were in a helluva hurry and ate at McDonald's. No need to explain. But on the second day we found a gorgeous place where they served pastries and quiches with coffee.
|Waffles and ice cream vendor|
There were plenty fancy restaurants in and around the Grand Place/Grote Markt which was walking distance from our hotel. Since I don't eat meat and Belgian food is similar to French fare, we opted to eat at the one of the Mediterranean places that we found. They are cheaper and healthier with lots of fresh salads. But not before we tried a Belgian beer, or two, in a pub. And we ate Belgian chocolate. After all that is what Belgium is famous for. Be warned. Belgian beers are surprisingly tasty and some of them pack a punch. The chocolate is divine. You can buy assorted individual hand-made chocolates and we tried loads of different ones. Good thing we only had a few days in Belgium.
|Art at one of the underground stations|
Read Part 2 of our Belgium city break - here - or go back to the - Travel Archive - page to read about other destinations.
Go to - My Holidays and Trips - at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on - this link.
Labels: Antwerp, Belgium, blog, blogsherpa, Bruges, Brussels, Eurostar, Ghent, information, Lonely Planet, travel, travel blog