Here’s the second part of this short series of stories of my busy days before leaving for Japan!
Thursday it was time for my goddaughter’s (is that the correct word?!) birthday present. For her fourth birthday earlier this week, she got four experiences. One of them was going on a trip. Of course, she’s only four years old so a trip to the capital city was already a big trip. 😉 I promised her we’d go on a trip to see ‘the spheres’, which is what she calls the Atomium in Brussels. My sister wanted me to take two extra eyes to make sure I wouldn’t lose the child, so a friend tagged along. To get there, we had to take a train and then transfer to a metro, which was horribly difficult to find. We had lunch on a grass patch underneath the Atomium and then went into a woody park next to the leftover of Expo ’58. Suddenly we found ourselves in an oasis of greenery, as if we were far away from the capital. High trees, a partly dried up river, mounds, mosses, even an amphitheatre (which, I found out after some research, is called Groentheater (Greenery Theatre)). Really nice, I’m definitely going to visit again. We returned to the metro station and decided to check out Manneke and Jeanneke Pis. At the metro station and Dutch tourist asked us how to get somewhere and ended up joining us for the rest of the day. Arriving at Manneken Pis, I told the kid to look for it, but she said it was so tiny she didn’t see it. And that’s what pretty much every Belgian thinks; “why are all these tourists here for such a tiny little peeing statue?!” 😉 Off to Jeanneke then, Manneke’s female counterpart which is an ‘off the beaten path’ sight, unknown to many tourists though (it’s only a 5-minute walk from Manneke). This is where it got interesting for the kid… She was intrigued by the squatting little girl peeing and stared at it for almost 10 whole minutes! Since we still had some time left, we checked out the Royal Palace but due to preparations for the Belgian National Holiday on the 21st, the view was obstructed. Across the Royal Palace, there’s the Warandepark. A fountain in the park made for a refreshing wait for the train.
In the evening we had fries at ‘t Gouden Frietje (the best friture in all of Belgium! 😉 ) along with my dad. My dad took the kid home while I met up with a good friend to have (more) fries. 😀
A last meet-up with friends from school on Friday. We had been planning to eat Japanese food for a few months already, so it was finally time to do so. This was in fact part two of eating Japanese food with school friends, at the end of June some of us already went to the same place (Kokuban in Elsene, Brussels). This time, my mom tagged along and three friends from school. It was delicious, as always! After that, my mom and I tried finding stuff for my trip again in the Nieuwstraat, Brussel’s main shopping street, but again to no avail. We ended our day with a McFlurry and returned home.
On Saturday I was pretty much free for once. I was home alone for the weekend, so in the evening I had dinner (ha, pancakes!) at my sister’s. I had agreed with a friend to meet up on Friday, but she had asked to move our appointment to Saturday evening so after having dinner at my sister’s and playing with the kids, I rode my bike to Dendermonde. We had a drink and a good evening, it had been a while since I saw my friend last!
Sunday was a calm day as well. At noon, my mom, her boyfriend and I went out to eat. The food was okay, but the place was unfortunately too busy. The rest of the day I just cleaned a bit and prepared my luggage, just a lazy Sunday.