Our First European Adventure – Belgium

So I am a little embarrassed – it’s been so long since I’ve posted about our trips. I was supposed to be catching up on all our previous trips and now I am even further behind! A lot has happened in the past few months since I’ve last posted – Cole and I bought a townhouse in Buckhead, which we absolutely love! We have been busy decorating and making it feel like home. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I am hoping to finally catch up on all of our trips.

Back in December, Cole and I took our first European trip to Belgium! His parents and sister joined us and we spent 2 short, but action packed days abroad. We arrived in Brussels early Saturday morning and took the metro from the airport into the center of the city. We got a great deal and used Hilton points to stay at the beautiful Conrad. This gorgeous hotel is located on Avenue Louise, which is the upscale shopping district with lots of boutiques and galleries. We were able to walk to our hotel from the metro and quickly freshen up. We met up with Cole’s family and begun our exploration of the beautiful city. We walked all over town to see the sights – we saw the Grand Palace, City, Hall, Cathedrale des Saints Michel et Gudule, Manneken-Pis. All of the sights and monuments are all in walking distance to each other. Along the way, we stopped for lots of belgian beer, belgian fries (with this amazing andalouse sauce – think of a mix between ketchup, mayo and spices), and belgian waffles. Our last tourist stop for the day was to visit the Atomium – the iconic building that was built for the World Fair in the 1950s. We made it to the building right in time to see a beautiful sunset. We ended our day of sightseeing with a delicious steak meal at a restaurant recommended by the hotel and then spent the rest of the evening exploring the Christmas markets.

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Everyone we spoke to about visiting Belgium told us that a trip to Bruges was a must – so the next day, we boarded the first train out to Bruges. The town in Northwest Belgium is only an hour away by train from downtown Brussels and is a picturesque, idyllic town with cobblestone streets and canals. We spent the entire day walking the beautiful streets and stopping in the different restaurants, shops and belgian chocolate stores 🙂

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When looking at flights for our return trip the following morning, we realized that we weren’t going to make on a flight out of Brussels. After checking every possible flight out of Europe, we decided it would be best to take the first train out of Brussels to Dusseldorf, Germany. This was a risky gamble since the train had us arriving at the Dusseldorf train station with only 60 minutes to get to the airport, check in, and make it through security. We ran through the train station (I may or may not have tripped on the escalator), sprinted to the check-in at the airport just as they were pulling the rope to close check-in, and made it through security and immigration just in time to get our seats assigned on the flight home. Now I can look back at the fond memories of the Scott family running through Europe and laugh.

Tootsies (Flemish for Goodbye) till next time!

PS If you are planning a trip to Brussels – I highly recommend you download the “Visit Brussels” app – it has a list of all the top restaurants, sights, and most importantly a interactive map that you can connect to without internet!

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