Friday May 30, 2008
We got into Brussels Friday night around 8:30 pm after busting our butts to get to the train station in Metz on time. We traveled this weekend with Erin & John again. At the first square we came to we decided we had to order Belgium waffles and bought one at the first sight of them, for like 6.50 euros ea., and later found them for 2.50…After devouring them, we walked towards the Marriott Hotel that we got to stay at for only 50 euros, so split 4 ways and it's even cheaper than the hostels we've been staying at! Our hotel was only 1 block away from the main square, so great location also. The beds were better than my bed at home.
We then headed out to get some food and find the infamous Delirium Bar, that we heard about. Home to over 2000 beers, it holds a guiness world record. After circumnavigating the city for over an hour, even with directions, we finally found the bar in the middle of a touristy seafood restaurant area. (Side note from Laura: Mr. Compass was doing the navigating!) The area was kind of cool even though we were hounded by the restaurant greeters to sit at their restaurants. The bar was also across the little alley from a bar that had different sections: one absinthe bar, one whiskey bar, a rum bar, and maybe one or two others.The first beers we got were really good, and at 8%, pretty strong.The other ones we got weren't so good, but after a few of those (only a regular serving of 33cl compared to 1L in Munich) we were buzzing pretty good. I decided we should try the absinthe shots, so we did. I don't think they are the real absinthe with the hallucinogens or anything, but they tasted very black liquorishy. After watching other people take them, we tried to imitate the process-you place a sugar cube on top of a spatula-like thing with holes and light the absinthe-soaked sugar so that it melts and goes into the drink.
After the bar we headed back to the hotel through the main square hoping to see it all lit up at night, but most of the lights were off, so we only have postcards to imagine what it would look like.
The next day we headed out to find the Manneken Pis (Dutch for little man pee).It's a small (maybe 1.5 ft long) statue/fountain of a little boy peeing.We got some souvenirs, including Belgium chocolate, and headed to the train station to go to Reims for our Champagne tour. On the way to the train station, we stopped by an outdoor market (the girls wanted to shop) and John and I saw this man making silhouettes in one of the squares. He was actually cutting out profile silhouettes of people in less than a minute w/ these really long scissors, and doing a very good job of it. He would exploit your features, for instance if you had spiked hair-he'd cut spikey hair, if you had glasses, he'd cut glasses into it, all taking less than a minute and only costing 3 euros for a single or 5 euros for two people...we were definitely doing this. Laura and I got one together and John and Erin got one. Afterwards we discussed this guy's amazing business for like an hour…he was spitting out at least 1 every 2 minutes, including the time to collect money and place the silhouette in the transparent folder. It was so quick that he didn't really have a line (although he ALWAYS had onlookers waiting to be next), and cheap enough that it didn't hurt your pocket to do it…an amazing business plan. And you can do it at any tourist area. You could easily make 100 euros an hour…700 euros/day…3500 euros/week…320 days out of the year is over 1 million euros…unbelievable, you can travel the world and make a killing. So Laura and I have decided to drop out of school and pursue our careers in silhouette cutting…o wait I'm not artistic, and Laura's a perfectionist…well maybe we can try it at PC beach sometime.