A few weeks ago my friends and I discussed wanting to go to Paris, but the flights were so expensive we worried we wouldn’t get the chance. However, after looking at flights through Ryanair we realized that we could fly cheaply to Brussels, Belgium, then take a bus to Paris for a day, returning in time for classes on Monday. As much as this was a lot of travelling (and I lost my phone in the process), I can’t stress enough how happy I am that we spent the day in Brussels. It’s not a city many people mention, but it is definitely one I hope to return to. Belgium is mainly known for 3 foods: chocolate, waffles, and beer. However, a little known fact (that I’m about 80% sure is true) is that french fries (or “frites”) were invented in Belgium! I have to tell you, I have never had better fries in my life.
The main hub of Brussels is Le Grand-Place, an area surrounded by breathtaking architecture (see the buildings below). Another symbol of Brussels is the Mannekin-Pis statue (see the small statue of the baby peeing into a fountain). All in all it was an amazing day, and I suggest a visit if you can!
That night we took a bus to Paris (about 4.5 hours) where we met up with a friend of mine from college who is studying abroad there. It was great seeing her, and she was a great guide to Paris (especially because she speaks fluent French!) We had breakfast at Cafe Angelina, a famous Cafe near the Louvre with the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Since I was mainly there to visit my friend from college, I split up with my IFSA friends who went to do the main sights of Paris while we took a walk along the Seine and in Le Marais, the Jewish section of Paris and also a big fashion district. Later we went to Les Catacombs, a museum which houses innumerable skeletons underneath the streets of Paris. It definitely made for some interesting pictures!