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January 15th 2022
Published: March 15th 2022
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Here we are, welcome to 2022! Been on the road for 10 weeks, so now that we are back at home I finally take the time to put my travel blogging in order.

We were supposed to fly out on the 1st of January, doing Durban-Joburg-Frankfurt-Brussels. This time, I'm the one who tested positive on Covid finding the result late evening on the 31st December. What a way to finish an amazing 2021! Well, I had zero symptoms, fully vaccinated, so it was just a question of being patient, and not to spread it around! Good news, in SA, you just isolate and as long as you are ready to pay for another test, nobody stop you to speed up the process to check if you have turn to negative. So I did my second attempt on the 3rd January and found out that evening that I was ready to go!

Early January, getting on the phone with Lufthansa was the serious challenge. Took me just 2-3 hours to get it sorted! Bear in mind, thanks to Omicron, back in January, very few airlines were flying to South Africa. No Emirates, no Qatar, no Turkish, so what was left was pretty packed! Crazy enough, we booked a one way fare to Europe in premium economy last minute at a super decent price! So once in Joburg, when both our boarding passes showed the upgrade to business class, we were more than happy!

This blog is about the first 2 weeks of January. We booked a serviced apartment right in the center of Brussels. On arrival, we were supposed to do a quarantine due once again to the situation in South Africa...guess it's funny if you just had it. But that rule was lifted less than 24 hours after our arrival, so here we are, we met a lot of friends. Many of them I hadn't seen for over 20 years...and even Tanya's a small world!

We spent time visiting all the main attractions of Brussels, plus a small side trip to the "beach" at the Coast as well as few hours in Bruges...without a single tourist around! It was time also to enjoy few things/food we don't find in shops in South Africa. The main reason of the apartment is obviously the kitchen that was put to very good use for the many nights we stay here!

I hope you will enjoy all the pictures! It was pretty nice to get back in time for me. We did also visit Louvain-la-Neuve, the University town where I spent amazing and fun years from 1991 to 1996! The time was also interesting as people seemed to fall left and right from Omicron...and we were not the ones bringing it to Europe!

I'm not so sure I would want to spend every January in Belgium due to the weather, but I had few administrative errands that couldn't wait much longer and needed to be addressed while in the country I carry a passport from. I know this is a coded message for what is coming next!

Next blog will be a slightly more glamorous that has been pushed back few times....but we finally made it!

Additional photos below
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15th March 2022

Thanks for the memories...
I remember those grey days of winter from when we lived there from Jul 1984 to Nov 1995. I will be transiting Brussels for two hours on Sep 4th between Edinburgh and Stockholm...not enough time to make it into the city for moules, waffles and chocolates. I will have to rely on airport restaurants and shops. Last time I transited, I had less than an hour so had to go immediately from one gate to another. Passing those chocolate shops was painful! I look forward to reading your blogs about this trip
16th March 2022

Belgian food
The airport is actually pretty nice these days. I'm sure you'll have some times for some food around. We headed straight to the lounge...and even there, they had chocolate testing stations, local nice beer and few nice local specialities. I know you can get waffles airside too, not sure about the mussels!

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