Europe 2008 (Amsterdam to Luxembourg) Day 13 – June 6

6 06 2008

We got going a bit late this morning.  Started driving out of the city at 0900

We drove hard to Brussels.  They don’t even have a "Welcome to Belgium" sign on the highway, it was only a change in highway signs that indicated we were in a different country – Harumph!  We arrived in Brussels at 12:15.  Seems I punched the wrong street into the GPS originally and it took us faithfully there.  Rue du Grand Place is NOT Grand Place.   After re entering the correct place and much driving around we found a parkade.  As was becoming the norm, it started raining.  After getting out onto the street we realized we really had no idea where the Grand Place was after all that driving around.  A local grocer was kind enough to help us off in the right direction.

After walking the distance to the square we decided to try and find the waffle place that Eddie had eaten at last summer since Mrs D was hungry.  We tried all around the square but it appears that Eddie had neglected to mention that the waffle place wasn’t actually IN the square, but near.  There are many blocks NEAR the square..we weren’t about to go wandering looking for the restaurant.  We DID manage to find a teahouse that served waffles and other classic Belgian delicacies.  They had been doing so since the 1800’s.  Since business in the tourist trade was quiet in the rain the waiter took some time and explained the big cookie moulds that were hanging on the wall and even brought us a sample one after we had had our 10 dollar waffles.  As expensive as the waffles were, they were better than any waffle I’d had in North America.  10 dollars better?  I don’t know.

While we hadn’t planned on seeing the "pissing boy" the waiter said that we should go down and see him anyway.  He was only about 200m from where we were eating.  We first went back to the Grand Place and took a bunch of pictures since the rain had stopped and it was WAY easier to shoot the buildings with out the constant need to wipe your lens.  Then, we walked some more.  We went and saw the pissing boy.  Today he was dressed in a Swedish outfit as it was Sweden’s national day.  Meh.  Apparently they dress him up for different occasions.  Lucky us.  He looked kind of like something out of Chuckie rather than a 600 year old fountain all dressed up like that.

On the walk back I had to buy one more Belgian thing.  CHOCOLATE!  I bought 500g of Pure Belgian milk chocolate.  Heaven!

We realized that we had no idea where we left the car after all that so we used the Tom Tom to find our way back to our parking garage.  I think if I had counted on my memory we would have ended up across town from the vehicle.  Oops. 

We got out of Brussels at 1500 and headed to Luxembourg.  Heavy rain descended upon us as we approached at about 1730.  At least Luxembourg had a "Welcome to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg" sign.  We also learned that Luxembourg has no (or lower) taxes so it is THE place to buy alcohol, cigarettes and gas.  Odd.

Since it was rush hour when we arrived in Luxembourg, traffic was crazy.  We did manage to find the hotel and got parked. It was an absolute downpour.  Nice vacation.

After checking in and learning that they wanted 10 euros for Internet (which we declined) we settled into our room tried to call my FT friend, Grimp.  No luck.  We tried for quite a while.  Still nothing. Odd.  WE needed to get out for dinner so we went for walk to the old town.  Thankfully it had totally stopped raining.  We had a multi course meal for only 15.50 euros each!  Wow.  finally a good deal in Europe.

We ate on the outdoor patio and a German couple sat next to us and chatted.  They were in for the weekend to get away and they were a quite friendly older couple.  There was a concert band playing music at the amphitheatre which serenaded us during dinner.  They actually started at 1900 and then another band came on and took over until about 2100. 

We got back to the hotel by 2130 and planned tomorrow’s trip.  Looks like we’re heading to Troyes with stops at some castles, some gates and other interesting things.  No Germany for us.  Just too far.  A bit too optimistic in my plans when sitting at home.

2320: good night… I hope we find a place in Troyes tomorrow.



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