Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-08-23

Stayed the night in Brussels

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 21:58:25 +1000 (EST)
Brigitte was driving to Trier for a meeting in the morning, and kindly
offered to drop us and our bags at the train station. Mike had also
suggested we might want to see his work (or at least I would - lots of
blinkenlights and expensive computer toys!), so after leaving our bags
we went through all the security (had to leave our passports with the
security people) and checked out the toys. They have lots of nice
expensive machines there - I'm jealous!

Caught the bus back in to the city and walked around for a bit - found
the tourist information and decided to go check out the remains of the
fortifications (The Bock).

The Bock was a bunch of underground tunnels set into the wall of the
valley I mentioned yesterday - there were holes looking out every so
often, lots of little stairs and low ceilings.

We realised we would either have to find something to do for an hour, or
run for the station, so we ran! We arrived in the station with about 3
minutes left, so I rushed to the lockers while Kate found out what
platform we were on. We grabbed our bags, ran for the platform, and
stepped on board about 5 seconds before the train started moving!

The train was quite busy, and a bunch of about 30 very noisy kids got on
and yelled the whole way there.

The youth hostel was the cheapest we've seen (EUR 9 per night plus a
surcharge for sheets on the first night) - and the beds weren't too bad,
though we were in separate rooms. We ate dinner at the hostel, then went
out to find a Belgian beer! On the way we saw an open air concert (with
canned applause - the applause started a good couple of seconds before
the people started clapping - very dodgy!), lots of interesting
buildings, and what looked like a buck's night and a hen's night
wandering around different parts of town.

Beer was OK, but not that wonderful - went back to the hostel, then I
decided I couldn't sleep, so went out to see what was happening in town.
It was a Friday night, and the Brussels night-life was amazing - heard
lots of different languages being spoken, went back to the concert for a
bit, saw the buck's night crowd being even more silly (something to do
with a bicycle, some ballons and a clown outfit) and wandered back
through the red-light district where two different 'gentlemen' accosted
me asking if I wanted any company for the night. The second replied to
my 'sorry, I already have a girlfriend' with 'here you have 2
girlfriends!' (not that I could have afforded them).

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