Europe Part IV (Belgium- Brussels)

After Paris was to head to Brussels. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Brussels as it’s not one of the big hit in terms of tourist attractions in Europe. But anyway, I like to explore so anywhere is fine.

We planned the route so as to be able to go up to Finland, where Michelle stayed for her 6 months internship. We will be visiting her house and see what Finland is about.

Brussels, here we come!

Train to Brussels. Hotel in Brussels is Crowne Plaza Le Palace.

Always love hotels with bathtub. Can soak and relax whenever we come back and if my tired body allows me to soak in it instead of sleep. Ha!

It was relatively early so we had time to take a walk near where we’re staying.

The grass is greener over the other pasture. In the literal sense. Aren’t the flowers blooming so beautifully? Singapore just can’t have these on the streets.

We took a train down to somewhere. Sorry, I don’t remember what’s the name anymore. Lol… And this time, I took photos of the train stations. Brussels ain’t as bad as Paris. If you were to ask me, I would say it’s 10 times better.

But hey, you don’t really see this type of conditions in Singapore’s train station.

Back on the streets….

The shops close pretty early too. Like 7 or 7.30pm.
We decided to have fast food at Quick. We ate alfresco style and hey, there’s a glacier van out there!

Mich and I bought the Magic Box set. I bought it coz there’s a bunny.

Tadah!! The Raving Rabbids!!!!

Brussels is less touristy, more peaceful. May be a good place to retire if you like Europe. 
Back to the hotel, we sported this gigantic mirror. Just had to take a photo of it.

There’s also a Grab & Go mini bar. Awesome!!!!

And then it was time to hit the sacks to prepare for an early morning, as we’ll be travelling to Brugge.
Next morning, upon arrival in Brugge. We’re at Brugge as dear’s mum’s cousin stays there. Lovely to have someone to play host and also as guides to show us around, bringing us to nice place to buy chocolates and have lunch.
This is Brugge.

Along the roads, you see houses. Those with a monument is protected. Nothing to be changed of the place as they want to keep the historical side of it. I think is good. Plus it looks lovely.

Auntie Daisy and Pearl, her daughter (you’ll see them later) explained to us about the houses with the steps. For the olden times, it the more steps there are on the roof means the richer you are.

Built in 1723.

Town of Brugge. The weather is pretty cooling, nice to walk around without perspiring.

I love all these retro tins and boxes!!!

Visited a cathedral.

Artist doing up the work, or should I say, maintaining it. There are fewer and fewer of such people already… I hope that people who are talented enough can help to maintain the works so that such awesome architectures stay. 

If only Singapore can build these type of cathedrals. I really like the traditional looking ones with wooden chairs. Some churches are way too hip for me.

This is Pearl, our guide of the day. She makes a really god guide, probably because her father is a tour guide in profession. 
The Chocolate Line, according to PEarl and Auntie Daisy, serves the best chocolate in Brugge and also the priciest. 
They did buy quite alot of chocolates to bring back to Singapore. For my family, we’re not chocolate lovers, so I only bought a few bars.

This display is made using chocolates. So amazing right? As the season changes, their display will change.

Walking further down, this caught my eye! Haha! Ladies, do you agree with me??

They have a number of artsy flags hanging around. I’m not too sure why but I thought it’s interesting.

Horse carriage!!!!!!! I wanna take a ride! Always wanted to experience what’s it like. Although sometimes I feel that the horse is pretty pitiful, having to pull the humans and the carriage which is rather heavy.

This shop opens all year round, selling Christmas things. So pretty! Omg. I just wanna buy everything. Lol… And you know my love for Christmas right? This is the perfect shop!

There’s a marketplace and we were quite lucky to experience this part as they don’t open daily. Only mid week and weekend I think.

More Christmas shops!

At the marketplace, this stall sells the freshest fish and prawns ever. Auntie Daisy and Pearl highly recommended us to get this to eat.

We bought it and then we wanted to find a place to eat. And wow, this is picturesque! Totally looking like a post card.

Raw fish.

I’m alot less adventurous in terms of food especially when I’m overseas as I’m afraid of food poisoning. I’m not saying the food isn’t fresh, just that I may not be used to it. I do take sashimi in Singapore. It’s just that if one were to be down with food poisoning, itinerary might change and when you’re travelling in a group, you won’t want to delay other people and make people worry for you. Also, hotels and trains are booked already so any changes means forgoing quite abit of money. Worse is to have a tummy ache and vomit right So some things I rather pass than to take. I did take a bite of the raw fish though. It’s really fresh, juicy and extremely tasty!!!
The prawn is nice too!

After that delicious raw bites we had, we walked abit more of the town and soon settled in for lunch.
This is probably the best lunch I had in Europe!

Uncle ordered a pot of mussels!! Can he finish them???

Oh yes, he did!! Lol! With quite alot of people’s help. Hahaha!

Desserts for me is tiramisu and dear had creme brulee.

This is Auntie Daisy! Thank you Auntie Daisy and Pearl for showing us around Brugge. Brugge is indeed sooooo lovely!

Decor in the restaurant.

After that, we wanted to head back to Brussels. Mich had tummyache, not sure was it the food in the morning or what. We wanted to go back earlier so that she can go to a Smurf Museum but we had to miss a train’s session as she really had to go to the toilet.
Fortunately we had Auntie Daisy and Pearl with us, and that they told us it was ok to go into Pizza Hut’s toilet even though you’re not a customer there. Otherwise, there didn’t seem to be any public toilets around.
So by the time we reach back Brussels, the Smurf Museum had closed. All of us went back to the hotel to rest and then we took a walk out and have our dinner and quickly back to hotel as Mich wasn’t that well.
You see, that’s why I watch what I eat when I’m overseas. Even Singapore actually, but I’m more lax here. Sometimes dear thinks I’m overly careful. But all because I have a weak stomach. :/ 
End of day 🙂
The following day came and it’s our last day in Belgium. Early morning we had our usual breakfast in the hotel, after which we had some time to roam the streets.

Saying goodbye to the beautiful mirror. Lol! I’m just kidding. Took some photos again at the mirror.

I did abit of shopping here I think and we just had to eat a belgian waffle before we go.

I’m normally not a fan of chocolate but I have to say the chocolate waffle is super delectable! Yummy!
And then we head back to our hotel to get our luggages and off to Amsterdam we go!
All in all, I love Belgium the most for this Europe trip. It’s not about the shopping actually. It’s more of the place itself, the people and the feel of it all.
Amsterdam shall be the next post, if I don’t digress on other things happening in my life!! 😛

Europe Part III (Paris II)

This is going to be an extremely colourful and full of pictures post.

Today, I’m bringing you with me to Paris Disneyland!

I’m only 2 years away from the big ‘3’0 but yes, still kiddish at heart. Whenever you step in to a theme park, you’ll feel as if you’re back to being a kid. At least I do.

Formula to stay young, keep going to theme parks but don’t take rides that are too scary. Lol!

I’ve only been to Hong Kong’s Disneyland thus far, so I can only compare the two. Hong Kong’s alot smaller, some rides probably are the same. If you’re talking about merchandise, somehow I find more things to buy at Hong Kong’s than Paris’s.

Anyway, let’s start the day! Auntie and Uncle didn’t come with us ‘kids’. They went shopping I think.

At Disneyland!!!! Lots and lots of people. There are 2 parks to this Disneyland, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

Mickey greeting you!

Even before entering a specific park, there’s a shop to entice you already.

I had to bring a Duffy back no matter what. Shop slowly! Yes, I’m in love with this bear!!!!!

Can’t resist but to take a photo with a bunny. In this case, Thumper.
I want!!!!

We decided to go to Walk Disney Studios first.

The two ang moh kids look so cute and photogenic! No liquifying needed. So unfair!

Our very first adventure in Walk Disney Studios Park. This is a must watch if you’re ever there. The show is superb! They don’t allow photo taking so I only have 2 pics to show you guys.

One of the ride we decided to take is Crush Coaster. I’m not the type to take roller coaster or anything that makes my heart drop, so we though Crush Coaster was fine.
Hell no.
It’s got to be the scariest ride I ever took in my life. Hahaha! Ok you see, my heart is weak and I can’t really take such rides. FYI, I hate pirate ships. 
If you see such signs as below, you might wanna avoid these type of rides. Obviously we thought it’s ok so we went for it.

Inside Crush Coaster, it’s like a roller coaster I assume. The ride was so fast and erm dark actually, so we didn’t know which way we were falling. I got to say I kinda enjoyed it but well, scary level is 9 out of 10 for me.
By the way, the waiting time for most of the rides we had was about 1-1.5 hours. We didn’t exactly took alot of rides.

Slinky Dog didn’t have any queue. But it’s a boring ride. :X Great for kids though.

I head that this is the scariest ride of all, the Hollywood Tower. It’s a free fall type of ride so if you’re into thrills, please try this!

Hello, Mr Walt Disney, you’re looking dapper.

Hungry already, time to have a meal. Always love the theme parks fast food meals, coz the packaging is always so cute! It makes you feel happy munching the burger.

I’m a crazy fan of metallic helium balloons.

Sigh, why so pretty? This is Disney Hotel. All 3 of us were like, oh man, we wanna stay here!!!

It’s Disneyland’s 20th Anniversary. According to Michelle, there’s a special segment of fireworks for the anniversary.

Big Duffy!!!!!!!!!!

This is the Duffy I got eventually. Cute max. Bought it because it’s in Christmas outfit and since I love Christmas so much, this is it.
Oh ya, tips to buying e.g. soft toys in Disneyland Paris. Try not to buy at the first store that you step foot in, but walk around a little more. 
They sell similar stuffs and apparently, this Xmas Duffy bear I got was at one of the shops that sells all things Christmas. It was like half the price or something as compared to one of the shops we got into initially. They were having a promotion.
Fortunately I didn’t buy it at first because the price bothers me. I thought it’s a little too ex to pay for a soft toy you see. So imagine my joy when we went to the Xmas store and I found this Duffy at SGD$25 or $27 thereabout. 
So I brought home this Duffy 🙂

Hehe.. another Duffy.

Pirates of the Caribbean. Dear likes this.

We took this ride and apparently we’re not quite prepared for the camera. Dear was dodging the waters. Hahahha!

Dear contemplated a long long time whether to get this skull globe. Nope, he didn’t buy it in the end.

Mich, the pirate. Fear her or she’s gonna chop you to pieces!

Always love the parade because it’s so lively and colourful and happy! This time round we stood further away to have a bird’s eye view but unfortunately, my camera’s zoom isn’t that great so this is the best I can capture.

Yes, this is the Christmas shop. I don’t know about you, but I simply love Christmas. I actually love Christmas more than my own birthday and Valentine’s Day. 
I lump all these in. Santa, winter, presents, joy, public holiday, cartoons, cool weather (in Singapore), Christmas trees, log cakes, turkeys… That’s all I can think of for now. These are the exact things I love about Christmas since I was a kid and all the way it hasn’t changed. Maybe not so much of the cartoon part, but the rest stays.
My birthday is usually not a PH unless it falls on Chinese New Year. My birthday’s in February so there are times it clashes with CNY. But people are usually visiting so it’s kinda hard to celebrate during cny.
Valentine’s day is all sweet and romantic, when you have a partner. But I always feel a little sorry for those who are single because I’m sure they won’t like to spend Valentine’s Day alone.
So you see, Christmas is a time where families get-together, gift exchange where it involves everyone, caroling happening in the malls, Christmas trees and lights… So lovely. 
It actually makes me feel happier when everyone is enjoying it too.

Christmas decors, all so pretty!!!

Dear and his Stitches.

This Cinderella’s not Christmas related, but it’s so lovely right? This came from another shop I think.

The night time for the sky to turn dark is super late, comparing to Singapore. At 9pm, it was still so bright! Like our 5pm. Their fireworks will only start at 10.15pm, and for the whole time, the 3 of us were contemplating whether to stay and watch the fireworks or to leave.
Main reason for not staying was due to safety. Disneyland is pretty far from where we are staying. It will probably take us 1.5 hours to reach back to our hotel.
If we watch finish the fireworks, it will be too late and trains don’t seem that safe. Therefore, for safety reasons, we decided to leave. 
We were all disappointed definitely, coming all the way to Paris and not watching the best part of it, but we think that we shouldn’t compromise safety.

While heading out, another shop enticed us to take a quick look….

And so, it was bye bye Disneyland!

I found a video of the show we missed on youtube. Would have loved to watch it live but never mind… Enjoy!