“Boring” Belgium

February 2015

I booked my flight to Belgium without knowing much about it because I had a friend that lived in Brussels I wanted to visit. The closer it got to my travel date, the more jokes I heard about there being absolutely nothing to do in Belgium. My ten days spent there would have to disagree.

When I arrived my ex-boyfriend/current friend was waiting at the airport with the friend I was staying with to surprise me. This was already a sign that my week was going to be eventful. We spent the night at an underground club night in an abandoned metro station ft. techno DJ Spiderman and several vodka and lemonades. My ex and I had a drunk heart to heart and I had a little bit of a go at him for coming out to surprise me when I was meant to be discovering my independence. In the end we had a great time together and I am glad he came.

During the next few days we went to some great museums and galleries. There was a museum of musical instruments in the city center and a gallery dedicated entirely to the work of Magritte. Museums in Brussels are only a couple of euros if you are under 26 so I was happy spending my days browsing each of them.

There was also a great underground art scene with lots of temporary galleries. I went to one on David Lynch in an old underground tunnel and entered his weird, avant garde world of the dark and the strange. I love his work so this was one of my favorite experiences of the trip.

 

The nightlife was especially fun in Brussels. We went to Antitapas which is a big rave in a factory and although the night is a little blurry, I remember the bands being fantastic. Unfortunately the headliners were interrupted by everyone being kicked out of the rave because of a bomb scare as this was around the time of the Charlie Hebdo incident. Standing outside of the club with thousands of scared people trying to hail a taxi in the sobering cold was one of those ‘at least it can’t get any worse moments’ – obviously then it decided to start snowing.

 

I survived the night but we did take a day off to watch movies inside and avoid the cold the day after. In the evening we went to Ghent because there was a huge luminere art festival around the city. I would love to say I planned my trip around this once-every-three-year event, but it was a completely coincidence. It was absolutely amazing though and I wish my photos did the art more justice.

 

 

After a few more fun nights out and some more art galleries and thrift store shopping, I said goodbye to my friend Theo and got the trains to Antwerp where she had set me up with one of her friends to stay with. During my time there I visited Bruges for a day which was very pretty and very romantic to wonder around alone.

In Antwerp I stayed in a student room with an incredibly talented jazz musician who took me to see a couple of great jazz shows and introduced me to his eccentric friends. I got to go to a Panamerenko exhibition alongside a couple of others and enjoyed my last Belgian waffle. On my final night I went to a student gathering where I met some lovely Belgians who helped me with my French and chatted with me all night. We drank beer, had dinner and played games until the night came to a close and I realised pitifully that I had to get my flight to my next destination the next morning.

So all in all, my review of Belgium.. Boring? Absolutely not.

 

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