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Published: July 11th 2009
It's always likely to be a bit of a culture shock, returning from so long travelling, so even though it was just for a weeekend, the first trip away was somehow always going to be a little bit special. So to get over the shock of a pretty mediocre at best workplace (being polite here), a weekend in Brussels was to be the tonic, a tiny taste of the months of freedom known so recently.
And that is what Brussels is in my mind very suited for, a getaway on the Eurostar for a night, be warned though, don't do what I did, sightseeing and chilling on the Saturday, expecting to shop on Sunday, most of the shops to my horror were shut, so that was my pre-Christmas shopping plan well and truly foiled. Still, managed to get some big boxes of chocolate, what more do people want, Belgium Chocolate straight from Belgium.
The Grand Place is just that, very grand and worth a look both by day and night, and you really can't beat the Belgian waffles, I had several including one with cream and strawberries. Sunday market down by the main station is worth a look too.
And if they are open, plenty of quality shops. In the very cold but dry weekend I visited I was very taken by the place, and there is an abundance of lanes with plentifull eating out options. Or you can just sit under a gaslamp, order a strong beer and watch the world go by.
Another nice surprise on this trip was my first view of the newly refurbished 'St Pancras Station' We moan and groan but once in the while the British do something right, and this is an example. The refurbed and polished new Eurostar Terminal for London is actually something we can feel proud about, and I like the way all the customs and shops etc are in the cleared out cellars of the old station, a couple of pictures included.
Okay it did not help me recover completely from this grim winter of 2007, but still, it's the heart of Europe and a perfectly passable little
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