Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Belgium Roadtrip Summer 2013: PART 1

I am home again after meeting a lot of new people, a lot of water, gorgeous places and most of all: FUN. After our week in the Ardennes ended Friday last week, my mom and I weren't feeling like going home yet. A roadtrip was in order! We decided to just drive off and see where we would end up as we drove along (okay, with a little help of a navigation system).

In the end we've been to Brussels, Ghent and a little bit in Antwerp. It was amazing. I always tend to forget how much I love travelling and how good it is for me, despite not being near the comfort of my own home with familair food and daily rituals (and a good shower, omg). In the end all I have to remember is:

'Home is always just a few hours away'
(if not less)

Once you realize that, nothing should stop you from exploring the world! I took a lot of pictures that I want to share so I decided to blog about my/our adventures for the next couple of days!
First stop: a roadside bakery!
If you need your delicious bakeries/patisseries/chocolatiers on every street corner (here!), Belgium is the country to visit. All the breads and pastries are SO fresh, delicious and pretty. I wanted to stop at every single one of them just to drool and take pictures.

Waffles! Eclaires! Nom!
Belgium has both a French and a Dutch/Flemish talking part. Here we were still in the French speaking part, and since both my mom's or my own French isn't terriffic it took us quite some time to order lunch.

Piiieessss. I still regret not getting one of those raspberry tarts.

After lunch, my mom wanted to visit Banneux. This is a 'famous' pelgrimage place, and it is known because of the reported Marian apparitions of Our Lady of Banneux, also known as Our Lady of the Poor to a young girl called Mariette Beco. My mom is catholic, but not very seriously, and I'm not religious at all. Both of us enjoy the imagery though, and the peace and quiet you can find in 'holy places'.
Holy water spring
This place was VERY touristy though. It felt like enterring an amusement park. Giant parking spots, overprized souvenir shops and ugly buildings etc. We walked around for a little bit, but soon enough realized this wasn't the place for us.

So we decided to drive off to Brussels! After about an hour and a half drive we arrived at the Génération Europe Youth Hostel. This hostel was awesome. Nice staff, good beds (and a four bed dorm to ourselves!), good food and just a great overall atmosphere. That evening we also got to talk to some fellow travellers! Jessie and Brad from Canada and Janique (?) who wasn't travelling but just enjoyed chatting to people who are. To be honest, I had almost forgotten about the 'social aspect' from staying at hostels! But especially when you're travelling by yourself and are far away from home, it's nice to have people just like you to talk to and hang out with :)
So colorful!
cute bedding n.n
Soon enough we ventured into Brussels! First we came across the more Asian part of Brussels where we came across some nice little shops and I spotted this pretty little shrine...

And this awesome koi fish bag!!

I'm saving the rest of our Brussels adventure for the next post c: Have a great vacation!

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