German castles, Belgium Flower Carpet and Amsterdam canals. Part 2. Belgium and Netherlands
Part 2. See Part 1 here.
The train we took was so smooth that I did not want to get off:-) When we stepped out into Brussel’s streets, I started missing Bavarian Germany straight away. We arrived at the Hilton Conrade hotel, which was kind of old inside, but the breakfast choice and size compensated for every little discomfort. After a small break we had a scheduled tour around the city, mixture of bus/walking tour. Very lucky, among other stops, we saw a Flower Carpet, a venue, that is held every other even-numbered year in Brussels. More then 600000 begonias are arranged into beautiful patterns according to the theme of the year. A long anticipated stop within this tour was a visit to a chocolate factory, chocolatier. Oh my God! We were shown the process of mixing hot chocolate mass by a professional, followed by sampling. Pieces were shaped into a small version of an infamous landmark of Brussels, the Maneken Pis. These peeing boys were everywhere: all sizes and materials. Plastic, metal, wooden and, of course, chocolate. But getting back to the chocolate boutique, what struck me, that beyond traditional variety: dark, milk and white chocolate with or without nuts, they had some unbelievable combinations of spices, mixed into chocolate mass. That was the biggest discovery for me. If I had to impress someone, I would definitely present them with Belgium chocolate from this boutique. There are plenty chocolate boutiques in Brussels, and I am not sure if they take tourists on this tour to the same one, we had been, or if it is different every time. I do recommend this one. After the tour my husband was not interested in seeing the Maneken Pis, so I had to enjoy the grandeur of this sight by myself.
Next morning we took another smooth train to Amsterdam, where we spent 2 days. We were on a popular canal cruise/tour, which I recommend to all visitors, as it was a great way to get an idea of this city on water. We walked a lot, making sure the bike riders would not hit us (have not seen so many in any other city). In the evening we checked the notorious Red Light District, which turned out a disastrous lack of oxygen – everywhere was a heavy weed smoke… Next day we had a nice walk along Amsterdam streets, took an obligatory photo near an ‘I amsterdam’ sign and visited a Van Gogh Museum. That was our last day in Amsterdam and the morning after we flew into Berlin just to spend one more day at my friend’s place. In the morning we took our trans-Atlantic flight back home, full of bright impressions and lasting memories.
If you like to see a lot within a limited time, I recommend my route. It gives you a great idea of the picturesque country of Germany, historical insight of Berlin and a glimpse of capitals of Belgium and the Netherlands. I hope you enjoyed my little story. You are welcome to ask me any questions if you have about the trip.
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