Tuesday we caught the 10:00 Thalys train from Gare Nord up to Brussels
. The pleasant two hour journey meant we had some time to kill before check in. One option was to check the bags and find something to do, but as I was down to my last pair of underwear, inside out, round two, we decide to find a laundromat between the station and the hotel.
Train station to hotel.
We were pleasantly surprised that, after dodging cars in Paris, the town center was more-or-less pedestrians only
What's more, while Paris was rife with clothing boutiques, Brussels had a bit more variety
. Bandes-dessinnees shops featured local heroes as well as international ones
, there were cafes with Belgian brews and pastry shops that didn't expect you to order three-course meals. There was charming street art as well.
We snuck a glimpse of the famed Grand Place, but focused on the laundry task. After a small snafu with being extremely used to doors opening outward, we navigated the detergent dispenser and washing machines. Well, Jes
did. I snuck away to get a Tintin book, a coffee mug, and a Jupiler.
We moved on to the hotel where we still had a little time to kill, so we grabbed some local brews. Belgians really aren't my thing. After dumping our bags and freshly-laundered clothes, we headed back toward the town center
in search of sights and late lunch.
We stumbled upon the impressive St. Michael cathedral and toured its perimeter and inside, then found a convenient greek restaurant.
The walk back to the hotel passed through the Grand Place. After taking in the breathtaking architecture, Jessica
crashed early. She was still on the tail end of her illness.
I returned to the town center and watched the ManU/Barca and Ajax/Juve matches at a local pub