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Travels: Past, Present and Future

Archive for the ‘Belgium’ Category

Brussels to Paris

Posted by Leanne on September 29, 2004

The train to Paris didn’t depart until the afternoon, so we spent the morning back on the tour bus where we could appreciate the beauty and Grandeur of Brussels without the worry of homelessness getting in the way.

A much less stressful journey to Paris ensued and we found the Woodstock, where we would be staying for the next three nights with ease.

The Woodstock was how I had expected hostels to be. Whilst the place in Amsterdam was a hotel with bunkbeds, the Woodstock was less polished, but full of character. It was smaller and had a friendlier backpacker feel to it.

We were placed in separate rooms, so while James disappeared to his, I dumped my bag in mine and sat outside in the courtyard where I met Nao, from Japan and Mark, from Australia amongst others.

Three hours later, James still hadn’t emerged and I had no idea which room he was in. I was in a new city and the urge to explore was starting to take over so I bid farewell to my temporary courtyard friends and ventured out onto the streets of Paris. A few minutes later I found myself at the top of the steps to the Sacre Coeur. As I looked down over nighttime Paris from one of its highest points, the sprawling city was breathtaking. Through a gap in the trees, I could see the top of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.

I felt a little sad that noone was there to appreciate it with me, but ultimately lucky to be there at all. A few minutes later, I was back in the hostel courtyard hostel where I rejoined the courtyard travellers.

I liked it there.

Paris from Above (Eiffel Tower)

Paris from Above (Eiffel Tower)

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Brussels

Posted by Leanne on September 28, 2004

We caught the train to Brussels very early and arrived at about 1pm. As we didn’t have any accommodation booked, we tried to find a Youth Hostel mentioned in my guide book. And got very very lost, which led to getting very very annoyed and very very stressed at the prospect of spending a night on the streets.

Finally, after going around on the tour bus one and a half times (tourism and navigation combined!) we found what we were looking for and also found out that it was fully booked.

Brussels from the Bus

Brussels from the Bus

Several hours later, back at the tourist office we booked into a 4* hotel, just round the corner from la grande place and took the hit to our wallets in return for the luxury of a bed for the night.

After a shower to wash the sweat and stress away, we both cheered up considerably. We went for dinner, where I tried to speak French, but it didn’t really work, because James was speaking English and so was the waiter.

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