I had an entire week off for Spanish Spring Break and promptly decided to go traveling. Following the cheapest Ryanair flights possible, I planned a trip that circled from northern Portugal to Belgium, Germany, and back to the northeastern coast of Spain. Since I am sure you are all supremely jealous, I’ll share the adventures in 3 parts, starting with my visit to Brussels.
On Friday the 30th I finished work and, cursing the ridiculous sweat-inducing heat, scrambled around to pack for my 8 day adventure. Come 4:15, I was hiking down to the train station in my short shorts, pretty sure that I was going to have to run down the hill to make the train on time. So imagine my surprise to walk right past a bus that was going to Vigo (my first destination). I flagged it down and climbed aboard, and was on my way!
For those of you who are very confused, I flew out of the Oporto Airport in northern Portugal. To get there from Santiago, you need to take either 2 trains or 2 buses, both with a transfer in the city of Vigo.
I arrived in the Oporto Airport a little after 8, and began the search for a good sleeping spot. Yup, I was going to sleep in the airport–because my flight was at 6 am and Oporto’s metro doesn’t open until 6. Since I have no money, I couldn’t afford a taxi from the city, or an expensive airport hotel. So I crashed on a long metal bench that was tucked away in a nook and made friends with a French guy who was debating buying duty-free alcohol. Come 6 am, I made it aboard my flight and was off to Brussels!
My first realization about Brussels is that it’s freaking cold! Especially compared to the gorgeous Spanish sun I’d just left. And then I put on more layers and discoverd that the city is full of chocolate, beer, and waffles, which definitely compensates for the freezing weather. I then spent two days devouring chocolate and waffles (some times in combination), drinking beer and Belgium hot chocolate, and going to museums.
Some Belgium highlights include the massive amount of chocolateries EVERYWHERE, the huge amount of Spanish tourists who also migrated to the city for the weekend,and the fact that I spilled Belgium beer on my poor, long-suffering camera. No worries, it still works, sort of.
I also managed to get my butt very lost in a creepy part of the city (under the train tracks, naturally) while trying to find the main station. Think a labyrinth of dark, grafittied tunnels that all vaguely smell like piss, lovely. Lucky for me, I didn’t miss the airport shuttle, and got off the ground Monday afternoon with no trouble.
To Be Continued in Munich…