Brussels, Without the Sprouts

Who wants to read about another pair of rides on the Eurostar? Nobody? Well, too bad. Today we took an Über car (for some reason, they almost always seem to be black Vauxhall Insignias) to St. Pancras International Station. We then boarded another high-speed Eurostar train. After a brief stop in Lille, France, we arrived at Gare Bruxelles-Midi.

All this at 186 MPH. A hundred and eighty-six! These trains are amazingly fast but incredibly smooth. In short, they’re awesome.

Our guide picked us up in a tiny Ford Fiesta subcompact and drove us to our first destination, the Atomium. Built in the 1958 World’s Fair, it’s a massive replica of an iron molecule. Yes, it has an observation deck, and no, we didn’t go up in it. 

Our next stop was the European Union’s headquarters, nicknamed the Jukebox.

We walked through the Parliament Museum, which was really cool.

The European Union is pretty impressive. All the different countries, hundreds of miles apart, countless languages and cultural differences and they all cooperate to pass laws and whatnot. If the United States were fifty different sovereign nations, I’m pretty sure there would be no United States.

Our next destination was Autoworld, one of the largest automobile museums in the world. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of photographs, because I took pictures of everything.

A Hispano-Suiza!

A Delahaye!

A Citroen 2CV!

A really awesome old BMW!

An Alfa Romeo!

A Lincoln Continental Mark II next to a ’58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham!

A Mercedes 180-class!

An Isetta!

A Jaguar XK140!

A Bugatti!

A ’59 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible!

A Packard V-12!

A Testarossa!

A 308 GTB!

A Corvette Stingray!

and…a Pacer.

Now that approximately 75 percent of my post has been devoted purely to automobiles, let us proceed!

Our next stop was Brussels’ city center. There’s a lot of stuff here, so I’ll try and cover everything.

An amazingly intricate old church.

The buildings of the city center.

Another city center building.

Yet another city center building. 

The center is pretty impressive. After eating a delicious Belgian waffle, we headed back to the train station and boarded our Eurostar back.

All in all, a fun little day trip. It’s amazing how easy the high-speed trains make travel. Before the Channel Tunnel’s advent in 1993 we would’ve had to ride a ferry across the Channel or else fly. Now, we can wake up in London, spend the day in Belgium, and come back in time for dinner.

So long for now,

- Hayden M. Strong

© Knstrong 2013