A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to go somewhere for Valentine’s Day weekend. I searched skyscanner.com to find the cheapest flight, and after searching almost all of the major cities in Europe, I concluded that Brussels was the cheapest. I sent a note to some friends to see who wanted to join and found two girls who were willing to explore a new country with me. We didn’t know anything about Belgium, but we knew they had chocolate and that was good enough for us!
My Barnacle found a place for us to stay. It was such a weirdly awesome place. Once a month it’s open as a museum dedicated to Belgian fries. Otherwise, it functions as “Home Frit Home” – a rental apartment for visitors to Brussels. I am utterly amazed (and a little bit confused) by the collection of fry paraphernalia.
After overcoming the initial surprise of both the place itself and the quirky owner (and overcoming the disappointment that he didn’t greet us with warm Belgian fries upon arrival), we settled in for a weekend of fun.
On Saturday morning, we took the train to nearby Brugge for the day. One suggestion to the managers at Brussels Gare du Midi: your signage has room for improvement; it isn’t clear which trains are going to which destinations.
We grabbed some chocolate waffles at a little train station cafe to have our breakfast on the train, and they turned out to be pretty awesome! We only captured one smile, but mine was just as big.
Brugge was adorable! We walked through Minnewater, toured the only remaining brewery in town (where we had a hilarious guide), walked through a modern art exhibit at Groeninge Museum, visited Church of Our Lady, ate Belgian fries outside of the Bell Tower, bought a delicious assortment of chocolates at Dumon, warmed up over hot drinks at Hotel Dukes’ Palace, shopped, and somehow managed to survive the crazy wind.
After coming back to Home Frit Home for a quick rest, we were off again. We headed to Aux Armes de Bruxelles for a dinner of mussels and fries. It was my first time eating mussels, and I loved them! Our final stop of the evening was Delirium.
On Sunday, we opted to stay in Brussels for the day. After bidding farewell to Home Frit Home, we went out in search of brunch. I was so excited for “real” brunch (aka eggs & bacon) at Le Quotidien. The restaurant’s atmosphere was beautiful, but I was completely heartbroken when they told me they were out of scrambled eggs & bacon. How is that possible?! Don’t they know that I never get brunch in Vevey?! To make up for my disappointment, I sampled the entire selection of honey, jam, hazelnut spread, and white chocolate spread on the table. Then, we were ready to continue exploring. We visited the infamous Manneken Pis (the peeing boy statue/fountain) and Grand Place. It was such a beautiful day, and it was fun to see so much life in a city on a Sunday!
I would be remised if I didn’t mention the fourth “person” on our weekend trip. Marley is the name of my Barnacle’s scarf. He is actually a beautiful Peruvian wool scarf, but he resembles dreadlocks and can get a bit out of control at times. We were so excited to find a Bob Marley hat before leaving Brussels. I think Marley was happy to pose with his namesake.
The Brussels airport must know how much people eat when they’re visiting Belgium. To help us leave on a high note, they provide bikes that also serve as phone chargers. Perfect for burning a few calories and heading home with a full battery! Thanks for the clever solution, Brussels! And thanks for a fun weekend!