Before we even arrived in Israel we had an 11 hour layover in Brussels, Belgium, so we decided to use that time to do some sightseeing. Right after we got off the plane we encountered our first problem. Haley and I were stuck behind an elderly lady who needed assistance, and Robert and Rebecca were farther ahead. There were two directions to go, and somehow we were directed to go different ways. When I realized this, the uncooperative airport worker would not allow us to go back, and he wouldn't even check to see if the rest of our family was waiting for us. I tried to ask where we could find them, but he was not being helpful at all. He said, "You will find them upstairs, no problems." WHAT??? Yes, there were problems. I still don't know where he meant by "upstairs". We had no way to contact each other. We were wandering around the airport, asking different workers where we should go and what we should do for about two hours! Finally we managed to find each other. What a huge relief! Not a great start to the trip, but we were determined to enjoy the day.
We took the train from the airport into the city. We stepped out of the train station and immediately lost all sense of direction. Old cities are so easy to get lost in, with their winding little streets. After a few minutes of walking we found a landmark. The Cathedrale des Saints Michel et Gudele.
I recognized it from a travel book. So we found it on the map, but it was still a little confusing and hard to figure out which way we should go to get where we wanted to go: to the "Grand Place". So, we walked around some more. I don't think Robert and the girls believed me about the Grand Place. "It's a big town square area with lots of really big, pretty buildings," I said. But we were only seeing little streets lined with cute buildings. We stopped for a break to eat some Belgian waffles.
They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Different from any waffle I have ever tasted. YUM!
Then we continued our search for the Grand Place. Finally we found it, and it was even more grand than I expected!
So many beautiful old buildings! After we took it all in, we walked around looking for this:
We bought some little souvenirs, saw more interesting sights, and then before we left we had to try the chocolate and the "frites" that Belgium is famous for. Frites are fries. The best fries you have ever tasted! They are served with mayonnaise, which is surprisingly good!
So, after a rocky start, it was a good day in Brussels. And our adventure had hardly even begun!