So, we've been slacking off lately!!! But we finally got the Belgium post uploaded. We loved Belgium and would encourage everyone to go there and enjoy the food and drinks and scenery.
Leaving behind the heat of Spain Yasmin and I were thankful to arrive in Belgium. We flew on the discount airline Ryanair which was horrible. The seats don't recline, there isn't any music, TV or movies and the flight attendants bombard you with "special offers" every 15 minutes over the PA system. You get what you pay for, and we didn't pay much!
We took a bus into Brussels and found our accommodation without any hassle. It was so nice to finally be in a country where most people spoke English and travel is simple. The weather was very pleasant, no 40 degree heat and scorching winds. We actually saw people walking around in suits again! Both Yasmin and I are looking forward to the day when we need to get dressed up for work.
Brussels is a beautiful city, the best way to describe it (and the whole country) is that it's basically a mini France. People in Brussels speak French, the architecture is French and there are lots of French cafes and French food! It had been a long time since we had more ethnic food so we had Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Persian, etc. We spent the next couple of days walking around the city and seeing the sights. One of the highlights was when we bought Belgian waffles covered with strawberries and chocolate and ate them in a gorgeous medieval square in the center of town.
One night when we were out exploring the city we passed by a couple of girls hanging around on the street, I told Yasi that they must be ladies of the night but she disagreed. She said "they are probably just hanging around waiting for their friends", she said later that she was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sure enough we passed by them an hour later and they were still standing at the same street corner, my suspicions were confirmed! Business must not be so good. As we made our way back to the hotel we saw a guy being hauled away in handcuffs, seems like we picked an interesting night to head out.
On another occasion we were enjoying some sushi outside on a patio when we heard a big commotion beseide us. Another patron at the restaurant was shouting at a guy he had noticed rifling through the purse of the woman sitting right beside me! He must have been trying to steal her wallet. The would be robber backed away and pleaded innocence and then took off. Brussels seemed to be a bit of a seedy place!
I had started to get some interest from a perspective employer so we went out and bought a SIM card so we could start to receive calls. I did my first interview from our hotel room! It was strange talking about work again after traveling for so long, my mind felt like mush.
After a couple days we moved on to Brugges, a perfectly preserved medieval city in the north of Belgium. They speak Dutch there and hate their French speaking countrymen to the south. We have no idea why. The only thing the north and south of Belgium seem to agree on is how much they don't like Holland, it bonds them together as a country! We spent one night here, 2 might have been better but we wanted to keep on the move. We strolled through the cobblestone streets, enjoyed a Belgian beer overlooking a picturesque canal and bought a small statue of a frog to decorate our future apartment.
Next stop, Amsterdam!