1 March 2014
To Brussels by train (obviously)
Last year I took my first holiday at the end of May and my main one in September. I then had to use up holiday in November and December under the use it or lose it rule. So this year I thought that I'd take a break in early Spring and I chose Brussels because that's where the trains ago and also because I've been through it many times but have never stayed for long to appreciate it.
I chose the Radisson Blu Royal because i had some scheme points that meant that I could get seven of the eight nights for free.
The hotel is just to the east of the old town which is largely pedestrianised and packed with tourists. It is also close the central station which is convenient as I plan to make day trips to other towns like Bruges, weather permitting.
The first afternoon was just about settling in and finding my way around a little. This is not that easy in Brussels which seems to pride itself on not having maps anywhere, least of all in the main stations. I was forced to boost Vodafone's profits by switching roaming data on to find my way to the hotel.
From there to the old town was an easier matter and that short walk took me past La Cycliste, a rather jolly piece of street art.
That was outside one of the entrances to the impressive Galeries Royales Saint-Herbert which is full of expensive shops and one busy cafe where I managed to find a seat, order a beer and get a cheese toastie.
I liked the roof the best, not surprising given my choice of photos of St. Pancras International at the top. So here's a second roof photo in one day.
I did a little bit of wandering around after that but it was already gloomy, getting darker and thinking about rain so I cam back to the hotel for a rest, which meant catching up with some programmes that I had downloaded from iPlayer on to my iPad.
Tomorrow I plan to mount a more serious expedition to the heart of Brussels to finally find out what is there and whether it is worth finding.