Day 2 (26th Nov) - Paris - Brussels
Wake up at 7am, the plan for today is to travel to Brussels, Belgium. The neighboring country of France, by train it takes only about an hour. We departed from Gare du Nord main station, bought Thalys train tickets at Euro90 for adult. The train schedule is every hour from this station, and the service counter offers accommodation reservation also. We have not yet decided the number of nights stay; thus we didn’t take up the offer. After an hour journey, we reached Gare de Midi station. The first impression is not that pleasant as the place is not clean and the people not as friendly too. After checking from the tourist office, we found the way to city center. The map is available at the tourist office at Euro0,50 per piece. The city center is a big culture shock to us, there are bars and restaurants at every shop row and corner. It was a weekend today, hence there are many stalls at the roadside that offer local food + beer. We went to few motels to check for room but none is available. Luckily we managed to get one at the end of the road, it is Hotel Chantelier at Euro160 for 2 nights. Once settled, we went for lunch at Grande Market, the famous downtown shopping place. The set lunch is good; Edmond have steak set with a bottle of beer and I have the famous dish in Brussels, mussel with a glass of wine, and our little princess Jie Rou has spaghetti. We spent Euro45 at this restaurant.
After filling up our stomach, we headed to the market for shopping. The market place is full of people, whether is tourist or the local. There are famous chocolate shops every where in the market. We bought Port Royal Chocolate for our French sisters. Then we bought Belgium chocolate at Euro25 for 5 boxes at special promotion, and Jie Rou chosen her Ginger Bread Man and deer biscuits at Euro4 and Euro6 each. Also, they offer chocolate lollipop at Euro1,50 each. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend long as the kid is too tired and we also hit by jetlag. On the way back, we tried out the local hawker stall for the mushroom at Euro7 and 2 cans of beers at Euro2. We went back to hotel around 7pm, thought to take a rest and come out for dinner later. But all this didn’t happen because we have slept through until the next morning. Left alone the cans of very cheap beer we bought from the store.