Weird, right? Why Brussels of all the cities in Europe? Got me...
Anyway today we left Munich at 9:55 am headed for Brussels. We had to get out at Frankfurt and wait for about 20 minutes, so for 20 minutes we got to be in Frankfurt, yay! Then it was back on the road and finally at 4:30 we arrived in Belgium. We got out and took a metro to where our hostel, Hello Hostel, was located. Which is just a few doors down from the Godiva Chocolate headquarters. Pretty cool.
Our hostel looked like a tiny piece of crap on the outside, but once we went inside it was actually really big and nice. We got situated and got ourselves some maps and headed out to explore the city while we could. We first headed to around about the center of the city (for what we could tell on the map) and had a few goals in mind - Eat fries, since they were invented here, and eat a real Belgium Waffle. Just 2 or 3 minutes after getting off the metro we found a big fry place (there are a lot of fry places marked all over our maps) and got ourselves some fries in mayonnaise (the drown em in that...) and they were delicious. So good. I don't know how the others feel but I think they may have been the best just strait fries ever.
So from there we took the short walk to see Brussels' most famous landmark, the Manneken Pis. It was... small. Like really small. Like maybe a foot and a quarter tall. But it was still really cool to see the real thing in person. Apparently they dress him up for all kinds of holidays and events, and a poster nearby had all kinds of costume images it was funny. Right by the Manneken we spotted a few waffle stands, and we got ourselves some Belgium Waffles. I had one that had sliced strawberry and banana on top drizzled in chocolate. It was real good. Nothing mind blowing, but definitely good. After that we continued to walk.
While exploring we went to the national library and the really cool area around it, with these cool gardens and fountains and steps. Then we went to the Royal Palace where Albert II is currently staying, then to the Palace Park, then saw the Parliament building where the EU is headed up, and finally saw the Gothic Cathedral. After that our wandering was done, and we got on the metro to see our final sight seeing destination for the day.
We got off the metro and there right in front of us was it... The Atomium. It was so cool, and just totally massive. It is a giant structure erected in the 1950's for the World's Fair and is a gigantic structure of an Iron Atom (I think, if I remember correctly. Something like that if not.) and inside each giant ball is a room with exhibits in them and each connecting beam is an escalator (or elevator in the center I would imagine.) It was closed for a few hours before we got there so we couldn't go in, but it was so cool to see in person from the outside. I can't imagine the inside being more impressive.
So after that we metro-ed our way back to Hello Hostel and crashed for the night. One other quick note, just thought I would mention that I caught whatever Jen got in Munich and throughout the course of the day have gotten really sick. Throat is real soar and inflamed. Damnit, so close to finishing the trip without getting sick. Here's hoping for feeling better in he morning!