Brussels is, well... different. First off, no one is speaking English. Most people do SPEAK it, but no one does unless you talk to them first. Yesterday I spent most of the day in London. We woke up early to go on the Westminister Abbey tour. We went to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and then we went to the Globe to go on the Globe tour. It was interesting, but its not the original Globe Theatre so it lost a little bit of excitement for me. Among all of these authentically historical buildings, it stood out as the baby of the crowd. We had a quick snack by our hotel and then went to the train station where my parents caught the bus to Heathrow and I caught the train to Brussels.
The Eurostar is this incredibly fast train that only makes a couple of direct point to point trips between big cities. One of these trips is from London to Brussels. And it was a very quick trip - about 2 hours. We started accross the British countryside which was very pretty and then all the sudden we went down, very fast. My ears popped a lot and it hurt even more than normal because I´ve been so sick. We stayed underground for about 30 minutes. Turns out we were going under the English Channel. So, you can imagine my fear when the train stopped... Underground... I´m not sure exactly what was wrong because the conductor was yelling things in French. Probably best that I didn´t know.
Once we came back up though, we were in France. We made a quick stop to let some people off and then headed to Brussels. Once there, I spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure out where I was. Everything was in French, Dutch, even German, but not English. I learned (by eavesdropping on someone elses conversation) that when growing up in Belgium, you are required to learn all four languages. You learn French and Dutch early, then German and English in high school. So although nothing was labelled in English, almost everyone spoke it perfectly. I took a cab to my hotel (Lesson #1 in Brussels... do not ask the cab driver if £15 will get you to your hotel... Guess how much your final fare will be? £15!!! I think it probably would have cost me about £10 anyways and I was just so happy to be where I was supposed to so I´ll pretend it was a good deal :) The hotel was extremely nice for what I paid and I got to watch Friends and the Grinch in French. I took a bath in this HUGE tub and then took some meds and went to sleep. I woke up this morning feeling almost better, then as soon as I sat up in bed, I was sick again.
I decided not to spend too much too much time in Brussels. I went to the Grand Place which was this huge square with these massive buildings on all sides and the coolest part was that they were all decoraated for Christmas (Thanks for that suggestion Emily!!) The buildings were beautiful and absolutely HUGE!!! I got a Belgium Waffle Ice cream thing (Belgium Waffle with Belgium Chocolate Ice Cream on top. Quite a breakfast I know but, I had to do it). It was SOOO tasty. It was so sweet that it almost made me sick. After this I went to a park by the Cathedral and sat in this lawn chair looking thing and rested for a little bit. Everytime the train would go underneath, the chairs would vibrate... it was so strange. I took the train from the central station out to Midi where I am now. I´m going to go get on a train to Antwerp right now and atleast stop and see what´s going on there. For now though, I have to leave because this French keyboard is driving me INSANE!!! all of the letters are in the wrong place and it`s taking me an incredibly long time to type this out. Talk to you soon though!! Amsterdam tonight!!