First stop: Pisa! Pisa is the main departure point from Florence. It is easily accessible by taking an hour-long bus for 6 Euros, roundtrip for 10 Euros. My roommates Brittany and Alli accompanied me on my trip to Brussels, Belgium.
I’ve always wanted to go to Belgium, because I’m a huge fan of beer and chocolate.
We left on Friday late afternoon from Florence and arrived in Brussels around midnight. We had to take a total of 1 flight, 2 buses, and 1 cab to get to our hotel, Beau Site. Of course, I pronounced it incorrectly, it’s SEAT, not site. Please pardon my French….
Brussels also surprised us with its snowy roads and freezing weather. I think the thermostat read -7 degrees Celsius. Brrrr..
Early Saturday morning, we ventured out to Grand-Place. We attempted to find the local bus that would take us there, since we were about 10 minutes away. However, we had no idea where this “Bus 71” picked up. We managed to walk halfway and then we hopped into a cab. We couldn’t feel our toes. After 2 minutes, we were there!
At Grote Market, we went into a chocolate store called “Bruyere.” Immediately, I chose several truffles: Irish Crème, Tiramisu, White Chocolate….and a few others.
We went to the Chocolate Museum, where we learned about the history and saw a demonstration.
Craved a burger and fries, so we went to a place called “Manneken Frites” I knew that Frites had to be fries. There we tried our first Belgium beer “Jupiler.”
Stopped by Manneken Pis (little peeing boy) along the way and bought more chocolate pralines at Neuhaus.
We went on an amazing beer tour that lasted for 4 hours. We started off at a pub, learning about trappists. There I had a blonde trappist called Westmalle. Afterwards, we headed to the only beer brewery left in Brussels called “Cantillon.” We learned that beer is made with four important ingredients: water, grains, hops, and yeast. We tried two different kinds there, Gueuze and Kriek .
Last stop of our beer tour, the 2nd best bar in the city with over 40 different kinds of ales on tap: Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas. Simply Amazing.
The beer tour was SO worth the 35 euros. We learned so much (information overload at times) and now have an appreciation for different ales. We ended the evening at a Thai restaurant with some new friends we made at the beer tour. Topped the night off with a delicious Nutella and strawberry waffle on the streets!
This is Brussels in a nutshell. Such an amazing city! I would go back in a heartbeat. We can home Sunday, and made a pit stop at the leaning tower of Pisa. Stay tuned!