I know I haven’t posted in a while but the last couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me. On Monday, after 10 hours of travelling, my sister and I returned home from our first trip to Belgium. Despite the pretty disappointing weather, we had an amazing time and visited quite a few places in the short time we were there.
On Thursday 3rd September, we began our 12 hour journey from Derry to Brussels. We got the 10am bus to Dublin which meant we arrived at the airport at 2 o’clock, 3 and a half hours before our flight. The flight only took an hour and a half so we then arrived in Brussels at 20.30, their time, and had to wait 45 minutes for the next train to where we were staying in Lueven (which is gorgeous btw). We finally arrived at our destination around 22.30 and were well and truly exhausted. After a much needed catch up with our friend Amy (who was kind enough to share her room with us for three days) we headed to bed in preparation for our first proper day in Belgium.
Day One: Ghent
I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. Everywhere is so picturesque in Belgium but Ghent really stood out for me. The cobbles on the streets, medieval buildings and the winding canal that runs through the city were just some of the things that gave Ghent its charm. We walked around the city, soaking up the architecture before taking a boat ride on the canal completed with a tour guide and the warmest blankets ever.
Even with the grey clouds and slight rain, Ghent looked beautiful. One of the things I was most shocked to find there was a ‘Primark’, yes that’s right – and it was absolutely massive! After a lovely day in Ghent we made our way back to Lueven and went out for a couple of drinks in the evening. I tried Linderman’s cherry beer for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised, I couldn’t go the whole way to Belgium and not try at least one beer!
Day Two: Brussels
We went to Brussels on probably the worst day, weather wise, of our trip which limited where we could go and what we could see. We still got to visit the Grand Plaza (which was ex
actly that), witness a beer parade that was part of the annual Beer Festival in Brussels, and go to a chocolate museum where we got shown how chocolatiers make the chocolate into the different shapes. There was chocolate everywhere – it was fab. I also had the most amazing Belgian hot chocolate which came with the little chocolate chunks separate so you could add them in yourself, so cool.
Day 3: Brugge
After partying like the Belgians on Saturday night and not getting home til 6am, I was horrifically hungover for our trip to Brugge on Sunday, but it was hands down my favourite part of the trip. It was similar to Ghent with the beautiful buildings and canal flowing through but one thing it had a lot more of, was chocolate. SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE. Literally, every second shop was a Chocolate Shop and some of them even offered you free samples on the way in, it was heaven.
Along with all the designer shops along the little streets, Brugge is also great for souvenir shopping and getting some great pictures. I was snap happy and literally had my phone out the whole time I was there as everything was just so beautiful. It’s also a lovely place to just walk around and take in everything around you, I spent a lot of the time just looking round in awe at its beauty.
So despite the cold weather and horrendous amount of time spent travelling, I can safely say that I will definitely be back in Belgium. It was such a beautiful, lively country with something for everyone and it was so easy to get around on public transport. I spent most of my money on travel and food so the next time I go, I hope to have a bigger budget!
Until next time,