...cont from May 17, 2010
After we'd returned back to the camping site in Amsterdam I finished writing my postcards and went to sleep. In the morning Thilo and I had breakfast together and then we packed up and set out for Brussels. It took only about 2 hours to drive there from Amsterdam. We arrived at the camp site at noon only to read on a sign on the reception desk that said there would be no one around from 11-1, and of course, we got there a little after 11 and we couldn't drive in because there was a gate across.
So we drove into the city and looked around for a place to park and a tour bus. We drove around for a while and then I saw some signs that were English that said something about Tour Buses. (In Belgium they speak primarily French with the secondary language of Dutch) I insisted Thilo follow the signs and we went into this big fancy builing, which to this day I still don't know what it was (business building, hotel, high-end mall?). We asked the guy at the front desk where we could get information on tours, but he couldn't understand German or English and wouldn't help us. So we went back out and we saw some big red buses but when we looked closer we saw that there were a lot of people and music blaring around them. Then a fleet of police came into the parking lot on their motorcycles. That's when Thilo said, "That's not a tour bus, it's a 'Loff Pahrad'" (A Love Parade!) I was already feeling silly for making him follow the English "tour" signs and then he asked me teasingly, "Do you want to walk in the parade?" That was of course the last thing I wanted to do. So we drove back into the city, parked and walked to the main street to get something to eat. And while we sat and ate we got to watch the parade. Yay. I sat with my back to it.
We walked around then and looked for a real tour bus. We finally found one so we paid and sat down on a bench...and waited.... Thilo finally went back and asked when we'd be going and the driver tried to tell us we'd missed the bus so we'd have to wait another 45 minutes. Thilo wasn't going to take any of that and got his money back. We found another bus, (we soon realized there were Gold Buses, Red Buses, Green Buses, and Blue Buses, there might have even been more but those are the one I remember for sure) and Thilo negotiatied with him so he paid the same price as with the first bus we tried. We waited and waited again and finally a bus came and we got on it and had a tour. It was a pretty ridiculous ordeal for a tour bus.
After that we walked along the main shop street with the Peeing Manikin fountain and all the Chocolate Shops. I bought some Beligian lavender dark chocolate to share with Conny and some fancy truffles to share with my friends back in Riesa. Thilo and I also got some Belgian waffles from a Belgian Waffle take-out place, which were amazing, (waffles are one of my very favourite foods).
We went back to the campsite, set up camp, had dinner and went for a walk into the village. I fell in love with that village and I'd love to go back, in this particular villiage they spoke Dutch, which I fell in love with as well.
After that we went to sleep and then packed up in the morning and drove back home to Conny.