Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Weekend Belgium Trip Diary

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

It's lucky that we live that close to Europe and are able to easily travel between countries with freedom. I've been fortunate enough to travel to a few countries this year and on Saturday 14th November I headed across the water to Belgium to visit an old colleague and friend in Mechlen, about half an hour out of Brussels.

Of course there would've been no way of me getting to Brussels this week, with what happened in Paris the night before I left for Belgium. I wouldn't have said I felt any more in danger than I would've felt before, despite the panic and warnings. If anything there were more armed guards at stations and public places, as well as more laughter and warm between people. 

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

First stop in Mechlen was an afternoon hot chocolate and brownie - a must anywhere in Belgium. Even though my Dutch is non-existent, I managed to get through ordering and I have to say, this was the best hot chocolate I've ever had. Frothy and warm milk with two slabs of chocolate on the side of the cup to stir in - BLISS. And the gooey and melt-in-the-mouth brownie was the perfect pick me up after a long journey in.

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

On Sunday 15th November, me and my friend headed to Rotterdam in the Netherlands because we've both explored Brussels and the nearby towns before and haven't been to Rotterdam in the past. It actually costs about the same as travelling from London to Brighton, even though you're crossing a boarder!

The calm and clean streets of Rotterdam pleased my OCD self nicely and proved great for photo opportunities, even if it was very windy and rainy (I couldn't escape the delightful English weather!)

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

Besides the massive shopping center and streets of individual hipster shops, is Rotterdam's Markthal or Food Hall. All inside, there's tons of food shops and places to eat, if you need to pick up your fresh fish or vegetables or fancy grabbing a few waffles or bunch of flowers, this is your place.

Even cooler is that people actually live inside the Markthal. See those square windows along the side of the first image? Those are tiny little flats where people can live! I'd definitely be the size of a house, let alone the flat after a few months of living here.

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

Another hot chocolate and calzone later...

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

A quick stroll through the China Town of Rotterdam, there's some seriously good food down this street! And the pretty tree lights looked too pretty to not take a photo of. Then it was back on the train to Mechlen, just in time for the rain to start coming down.

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

My last day involved a late morning and breakfast before having a quick stroll and mini history lesson of Mechlen. I only had a few hours before my Eurostar home, just enough time to pick up the obligatory waffles and Stroopwafles (hands down my favourite treat to bring back from Belgium!).

Travel Belgium Rotterdam Mechlen Eurostar Hot Chocolate Food Hall Christmas Waffles

There was a Stroopwafle dilema on the train back, but luckily there wasn't anyone sitting next to me to explain the bag flying through the air with a mouthful of waffle situation...

That's my weekend Belgium Trip Diary! I hoped you enjoyed it. What's your favourite part of Belgium?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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