This morning at the hotel we had breakfast sandwiches, turkey and salami, gouda cheese, and warm milk with cereal. We left our packs there for the day. So Brussels has a really different feel than Amsterdam. Its more of an older crowd amd there is a lot of Islam influence so they are everywhere. Its much quieter and more spread out than Amsterdam and there’s zero bikes and just cars.
We first walked out to the Metro which is the underground subway here. We bought an all day pass so we used it lots. Our first trip on the M and three police? national security? guys got on. Three 6’5 big guys dressed in greenish camo, green berets on their heads, carrying guns at ready and they ran on each to a car. I peed alittle. Also the three of us sat there and tried not to look American or any other threatening nationality. Next stop they were off with guns at ready again obviously looking for someone.
It started raining and luckily we’d brought the umbrella along but left raincoats at the hotel. Our first stop was the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral. It was majestic with high vaulted ceilings and lots of carved marble and wooden statues portraying Jesus, Mary, and different saints. The enormous stained glass windows had hundreds of little colored panes each helping form a picture of the life of Jesus or different scenes depicting the Pope. We walked around the outer edge of the sanctuary because in the middle was where people sat for services. Around the outside edge were the wooden and marble statues where you could light a candle in front of them or little spots to kneel and pray. See more about it here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_St._Michael_and_St._Gudula
Anyways went back out into the rain and walked to the Palace of Brussels. We walked around there for abit outside as the inside is mostly shops and then we got coffee and dried our wet feet briefly. Took the M over to this place called the Atonium. Its an iron crystal atom magnified 165 billion times so essentially its giant silver balls connected in the air. You can take an elevator to the top ball and it has great views of Brussels. The guys went up but I voted no and stayed at the bottom.
After some wandering around on the Metro being lost we had late lunch and went back to the hostel to get our packs. Caught the train and took the 1 hour ride to Bruges, Belgium. The countryside of Belgium or outside the train at least is medium flat and green with lots of trees. All the little towns we went through had churches with tall spires and old houses.
We took the bus in Bruges and it looks like a medieval amd old sort of town. I cant wait to start exploring. We found our hostel which is St. Christopher’s Inn and unpacked and started laundry finally🎉Its a massive place and really nice. Shared dorms again but not all are full and its pretty quiet. These old buildings have no air and are apparently well insulated because it is so freaking hot in them. The bathroom is 80 degrees and its ridiculous.
We got supper at a Lebanese place down the street and hung out at the hostel before bed. Another amazing day done☔