Travel

Belgian Balls. Big Shiny Ones.

Sunday, last day, sadly. It was another slow start, more pastries and coffee with a ‘putting the world to rights’ natter.

David was back to work today so it would be just the three of us exploring the city.

Once we’d gotten ready and I’d had my sing song and dance in the shower which was apparently amusing – we set off.

This time we walked back to the Metro, it was a beautiful blue sky day which always makes you feel great from the start.

The Metro is fairly easy to understand and Saz knew where she was going having done it before. The Atomium was the destination, a symbol of Brussels. The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. It is now a museum and you can go into the spheres for the views, an exhibition and there is also a restaurant in the top sphere.

We opted not to do this as time was short today and we wanted to go back to the Grand Place and do some shopping and have some food before going back to the apartment to pick our cases up.

We wandered around outside, going to the end of a patch of land in order to take the photo that everyone must take of themselves with the Atomium in the background, although, we may have taken a couple of alternative ones🤣🤪

I was excited because there was also a park to one side and I spied trees! We walked back along a path on the edge of the park and I spotted a tree that deserved a hug, so naturally I gave it one.

As we were clock watching we made our way back to the Metro station, it wasn’t far, jumped back on the train and made our way to a station we believed was near the Grand Place. It wasn’t. Thanks heavens for Google Maps, although I have to start walking to work out which direction to go in – had to try a couple of directions before I worked it out – but we got there.

We eventually found the Grand Place, as you get nearer the streets get busier and I began to recognise some of the shops from the day before. We ventured into a small and quaint chocolate and meringue shop. The meringues in the window were huge!! They were all individually boxed and each meringue was unique and also cost €12 each! I ended up buying a couple of bags of three medium sized ones and then began to wonder how I was going to get them home in one piece! ( my work family have since polished them off and have asked me to go again to get some more – oh well, if I must!!)

We walked across the square with lunch at Hard Rock Cafe the plan. As we walked across the square people started cheering and clapping – a man had just proposed and she had said yes. I know it’s romantic but I think I’m becoming cynical in my old age – or maybe I’m jealous? I do know that the excitement of a new relationship soon fades and it’s what you’re left with that really counts, if you still feel the same and still have the same interests in common and do things you enjoy together then you have a good foundation. But I’ve found, personally, that people change and the ones you are with don’t always change alongside you or embrace that change, you can drift apart and eventually realise you have nothing in common anymore – I speak from experience.

Anyway, the restaurant ended up being full with a 20 minute wait , which I was secretly happy about. We opted not to. We quickly decided to go back to Chez Leon as the service was quick and the food delicious. We stopped in another chocolate shop on our way there and bought some more gifts for home, the packs of chocolates were plentiful and the choices just confusing, but we managed to decide and came out carrying a few bags worth of Belgian chocolate.

We found Chez Leon, I felt like I knew my way around already, it’s a lovely little city and feels quite compact, it’s all walkable within the main part. It wasn’t overly busy so we got a table straight away and ordered. For some reason I lapsed into speaking Italian when it came to numbers, I can’t speak it but the odd thing comes out, the waiter was amused anyway!

It had come time to make our way back to the apartment, it was mid afternoon and we’d set our target time to be back for 6pm. We walked back up the hill for the last time and caught a tram back, walking the last bit and up the 81 steps to the apartment.

We’d already packed so it was just the case getting it all together and checking we had everything and fitting the boxes of chocolates into our bags.

We walked back to the tram stop and waited, very sad to be leaving, it felt like we’d been there longer than the two nights, although we’d started late each day we’d managed to cram quite a lot in but we had barely scratched the surface of what Brussels has to offer.

The journey back to the train station was fairly uneventful, apart from me falling off the end of an up escalator, tripping over my suitcase that refused to move at the top! Of course I got the sympathy and the help from the other two ‘adults’ – after they’d finished crying laughing!!

We bought some food for the journey then made our way to the check in. Here we go again, I don’t know why I get so flustered, I need to organise myself more when it comes to security. I’d put everything in the trays but I beeped through the arch – I had a belt on 🙄 I took it off and tried again. Saz was constantly trying to keep me calm and not panic bless her, Viv is just constantly amused, I think it’s because I’m aware of everyone behind me and I hate holding people up.

Anyway, we made it through that bit, passports next.

This is where we saw David at work, at passport control. We got through the machines, I remembered my glasses this time, and Belgium heaved a sigh of relief!🤣🤪

We chatted to David for a minute, thanking him again for having (putting up with) us and saying how much we’d enjoyed it – he went a bit pale when we said we’d be back!😆

We didn’t have to wait long to board, it was a lot busier on the way back. Viv and I used the time wisely and played about with Snapchat filters and took selfies, much to our amusement – it’s the little things😄

Arriving back at St Pancras we followed the crowd, I managed to hold onto my suitcase going down the travellator – having let go on our way back from Disneyland to grab my Mickey Mouse balloon and my four wheeler case rolled down and took a couple of people out like a bowling ball, which has never been forgotten and still causes the same laughing fit it did at the time from Viv🙄🤣

We walked back through St Pancras, it was a lot quieter now, it was nearly 10pm. I spied the piano, someone had just walked away from it so I grabbed the opportunity and rushed over to it sat down and started playing – chopsticks. I know nothing else! Viv joined me and we did a duet of chopsticks, it was rubbish and brilliant at the same time. I loved it!! I’d always wanted to do it. Carpe diem.

We made it home the rest of the way without incident. We were knackered.

It had been an amazing weekend, it was just what I needed. We had laughed from the minute we got together to the minute we parted, it really is the best medicine.

My friends (all of them) are truly special and very dear to my heart. We have years of history together with laughter, tears, heartache and joy and I can not think of anyone else I would want to share it all with. They really do mean the world to me, they just accept my odd ways and laugh at me – I mean with me🤪🤣

I look forward to sharing more fun and no doubt hilarious adventures with them in the future – our next one is already booked and in the planning stages! Can’t wait!

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