Sunday, March 01, 2009

St Pancras International to Brussels Midi 28/02/2009

Our 2008 Christmas gift of a day return trip to Brussels via Eurostar
was taken yesterday. St Pancras is a great station with its only
drawback being the slightly longer journey than to the old
Waterloo Eurostar terminal.

The travel was hassle free and very fast - two hours and ten minutes from the
British terminal to the Belgian one. Surprisingly Brussels Midi station
seemed dingy and dirty by comparison with both London Waterloo and St Prancas
stations. However the Eurostar train tickets are valid for onward travel
within Belgium but not in the UK.

With only an afternoon to spare we headed for La Grand Place, the wonderful world
heritage square in the heart of Brussels where we were also lucky enough
to come across the unpretentious L'Estaminet restuarant. There we enjoyed
some moules et frites and a couple of really
delicious local bieres blanc.
The devaluation of the £ made the cost horrendously
expensive - ok for a day but any summer holiday this year will have to
be UK based.

A crowded carnival with clowns etc was passing by outside
as we wandered round the old
Bourse. I chuckled inwardly at the thought that in London the clowns
often appear to be inside the stock exchange.
A quick tourist whirl around
old Churches like St Nicholas, the Mannikin Pis,
the chocolate museum and the afternoon was soon gone.

A great awayday but London is wonderful to return to.

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