Thursday, 27 April 2017

Lincoln, London and Brussels

Thursday 20th April to Friday 21st April 2017

By the time that anyone reads this we will have gone and been and then come back again.

About a month ago there was a sale on seats for Eurostar so we went on-line and booked some return seats to head off to Brussels for a few days; we had not been there before, so why not?
We then had access to some better deals on accommodation and that was sorted and we then thought we should spend the night before in London as the train was leaving at 8am – so that was duly booked – all done in very short time.

So on Thursday we trained it down to Kings Cross and checked into our hotel; wandered around the area; got some Euros at the station to be prepared and then decided upon some dinner – we chose a place on Pentonville Road called Pizza Union – couple of pizzas and beer to go with it and some olives, all very lovely and less than £18.
 
This was the view at Peterborough station as we waited for our
London connection - fortunately we escaped the downpour
Following morning we had set the alarm, up and readied, down for breakfast and then off to St.Pancras – easily through Border Control and then onto the train – a bit over 2 hours later and we were exiting the station in Brussels – all too easy.

It was a bit coolish when we were out on the street – now to find the hotel – we were almost useless at reading the map, but the little blue spot on the screen helped us to move the right way. There must have been something wrong with our reading of where we should have been going to, because we rounded a corner to head further north when lo and behold there was our hotel – lucky or what?

We couldn’t get into our room but we checked in and left the luggage and then we headed off to explore the city.

Diane has previously downloaded maps of various areas in Europe and the US using the NavMii App and she now had added the Benelux countries, so we had access to Belgium and in particular Brussels – and part of that was a guided walking tour of the capital, so what did we get up to – exactly that.
 
The buildings in the Grand Square were magnificent with gold embellishments


This is not a church but actually the Town Hall

A panorama shot of the square.

When in Belgium...it's always time for frites and mayonnaise


It related entirely to the 1830 revolution in Brussels which eventually led to the establishment of the separate and independent country we now know as Belgium.
 
The Square of the Martyrs - beneath this monument are buried the mote 100
people killed in the 1830 revolution - along with slabs of marble and their names.
I would imagine that this area holds special significance to most Belgians

The Belgian Parliament building


As we wandered around we saw a large presence of both Police and the Army – remember that this was just the day after the gunman attack in Paris where a policeman was killed and two others seriously injured – and there had been a Belgium connection.
For us it was not in any way of any concern to us – people say that with all of these attacks it is unsafe to travel and “you shouldn’t go here and you shouldn’t there” – let me just say in response to that thinking –
If we decide that we should not do the things that we would normally have done for fear of what could happen then the bloody terrorists have won and we are defeated – to win, you have to start by not living in fear.
It is more likely that you will get hit by a bus.
We managed to find an Irish pub in Brussels but did not have a drink there

Diane really liked the pair of angels, seemingly holding
up the bay window above them
Just some shots of random buildings that we particularly liked






Walking distance so far: 5.8 km (Thursday) + 9.9 km (Friday) = 15.7 km (Total)

As I am posting this page on 27th April 2017 it is necessary to also announce that our wonderful son, Mitchell, is celebrating his 28th birthday today in Los Angeles and after talking to him today we are looking forward to seeing both Mitch and Sara later on in the year.
A wonderful day has been planned for him and we wish him the very best and hopefully we can be there next year to celebrate it with him, in person.

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree with your views on travel, many people think I am mad but that is up to them. I'm off to Uganda in June :)

    Brussels is a fantastic place and with plenty of fantastic beers too!

    Enjoy
    Alison

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alison
      We are of a like mind; we saw the effect in Washington DC a few years back and the seeming reality for a lot of people living there is that they would be in fear of these types of attacks - all government building had security people ready to check all bags and people entering each building; the airports were overloaded with security checks - we have to live with that but our hearts and minds have to say that we will not be held hostage to this.

      enjoy your travels
      ray

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