Day 33 – 2/5/2019
When people come home from studying abroad, almost everyone has at least one or two crazy travel stories from their time overseas. This weekend, we experienced our first crazy travel story. After booking a cheap flight to Brussels, Belgium a couple weeks ago, we were excited to travel in Europe for the first time. With a 5:45 AM wake-up call on Friday morning, we boarded a bus to Marseille, France to catch a flight to Brussels. After a short flight filled with some networking with others in our row, we landed in “Brussels” …or so we thought. Out of instinct, I (Andrew) grabbed my phone to call an Uber so we could get our weekend started. As I pulled up the Uber app, a map popped up to choose my pickup location. I zoomed out the see exactly where we were, and I had a mini heart attack. We were an hour south of where we thought we were going to be, and my first thought was that we stupidly booked the flight and managed to get ourselves to the middle of nowhere Belgium for what could have been a long weekend. Luckily, we discovered that the Brussels airport is just really far out and that we could take a shuttle downtown, close to our hostel. After a long wait for the bus, we finally made it to downtown Brussels and checked into our hostel. With barely any food in our stomachs we grabbed some dinner and went to bed with the plan to wake up early and conquer the day. We woke up at 8 the next morning and hit the ground running. Right off the bat we went to Parc du Cinquantenaire in the snow and slush to see the beautiful arches (picture below). After some walking, we made our way to the subway station in wet shoes and socks to go see the Atomium which happened to be slightly underwhelming. From there we hopped back on the subway to go get some famous Belgium waffles, which were as good as advertised, and warmup. Our last stop was the Grand Place of Brussels which was probably the favorite spot for both of us. The architecture is stunning, and it definitely makes you feel like you are in Europe. With the attractions done and stomachs empty again, we grabbed dinner and went to the famous Delirium bar that holds the world record for most beers available (2,004!). Friends were made and conversations went on for a couple of hours before we made the executive decision to not pull an all nighter and responsibly get 1.5 hours of sleep before waking up at 3 AM to catch a bus back to the airport. Our moms must be so proud! After a long travel day, we made it back to Montpellier safely to literally fall into our beds and crash immediately. First weekend of travel, first crazy travel story. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store. Cheers!