Slightly tired. I loved Brussels. I could have stayed for another day or two to explore more. Although, I think we got just enough of a taste of it to want to return. The chocolate tour, which was a 4 hour tour, proved to be the best for our short stay. We had a walking tour of Brussels mixed in with history lessons and tastes of chocolates and a chocolate making class. The tour guide was amazing and we learned much about Brussels in the short period of time.
There were many other things that I wanted to see, but not enough time this go around. There is a Magritte Museum and Museum of Cartoons. Coco and I walked through the Park Royal which was huge and had lots of gardens, fountains and musicians playing. The people were warm and welcoming and spoke English with us. Although, I mostly heard them speaking French and noticed most things were written in French, but in English as well.
The Grand Place reminded me of Prague or of Munich, in their “Grand Place”, sort of way. A beautiful, central meeting place in the city with gorgeous old buildings. I believe the tour guide told us that King Louis the XIV, invaded Brussels because he was told that it was more beautiful than Paris. He tried to burn the city down. Most of the buildings in the Grand place were wooden before the invasion, but then after, were rebuilt in stone and are the originals since then. There is also a house where Victor Hugo , ( Les Miserables)lived on the Grand Place. This is interesting since we will be really studying the French Revolution on this trip. We will be in Paris for Bastille Day for the first time in all of our visits to France and I am really looking forward to that. And in that same vein will be reading, The Count of Monte Cristo, and visiting Marseilles later in the trip.
For now, our book of choice, The Diary of Anne Frank, because her house were she lived and hid is here in Amsterdam. Morgan is not too happy about it. She read the book before and it made her very sad, obviously, so she is hesitant to go, which I understand. One of the issues of planning as you go, sometimes you might not have things available, which is the case for tickets to the Anne Frank House. I tried to get tickets 2 weeks ago online, and it was sold out. So our only hope is to go and wait in line, but it is possible.
Last night on our way home from dinner, Grandma Nutt had a fall in the middle of the street and trolley tracks! Flat out over the tracks, I almost died. We picked her up, skinned knees and elbows, but she was okay and smiling. It was very scary, but nothing was broken thank goodness. This morning she is bruised, but can walk and move everything ok. So we are starting off slow and will get done what we can and what is comfortable. I think a canal cruise is first on the agenda and then maybe bike rides in the park. They way I saw everyone riding bikes last night, I don’t want the kids riding in all of the traffic. I am so happy that we took the train here, because as adventurous as I am driving in Europe, this city’s streets are a bit confusing with bikers, pedestrians, cars and trolleys going in all different directions.
So off we go to see what we can find in Amsterdam today! I already love the look and feel of it just from walking around last night. It is cool here, compared to Brussels, about 65 right now.
Also, pictures are going to have to wait until we arrive in Paris. The internet is slow for uploading pictures and we have a short amount of time here. So they will come in a few days.
Have a great one!