The Land of Waffles and Chocolate

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If there is ever an excuse to eat too much, it’s Belgium. Waffles, chocolates, fries – my weekend was spent gaining weight, but I don’t feel bad about it at all. While in Belgium, do as the Belgians do: eat fries with andalouse sauce, scour shops for free chocolate samples and buy waffles from street vendors. Waffles are such a big deal in Belgium that you can even buy them from a vending machine.

Over the weekend, a group of friends and I took the train to Brussels where our food tour of Belgium began. When we arrived in Waffleland, we experienced our first truly sunny day in weeks. Although, with the sun came some of the coldest temperatures I’ve felt in months.

The Royal Palace of Brussels.

The cowardly lion guarding a park.

The Church of St. Michael's, which bears a striking resemblance to Westminster Abbey, hmm?

We spent a lot of time wandering through the Grand Place and its surrounding streets. There are dozens of chocolate shops in the area, so we welcomed all the free samples we could get.

The Grand Place.

The Manneken Pis - yes, that's a statue of a peeing boy.

The hostel/hotel/bed & breakfast we stayed in turned out to be an amazing apartment – and for a super cheap price too!

The painting on the hotel's bedroom wall. There were several other fat, naked lady pictures throughout the room.

But of course, the best part of our time in Brussels was the food. Prepare yourself to be jealous…

They even have waffles in the vending machines!

Besides enjoying the delicious cuisines of Belgium during our second day in Belgium, we also ventured the Atomium, originally built for the Brussels World Fair in 1958.

The Atomium - we rode an elevator to the top sphere, then ventured to some of the other spheres via stairs and escalators.

Mini Europe, as seen from the top of the Atomium. Unfortunately, Mini Europe, which houses miniature versions of Europe's major landmarks, does not open until March. I guess I will be taking another trip to Brussels in the spring...

After the Atomium, we shot over to the opposite end of the city to see the EU, which turned out to be a lot less exciting than it sounds.

The EU stamp next to a bed of dead flowers - very inspiring, indeed.

Across the way from the EU is the Brussels Arc de Triomphe-Triomfbloog.

On Saturday, we took a day trip to Brugge, which had many more cute and windy cobblestone streets than Brussels. We spent a lot of our time simply wandering through these streets, but we also climbed the Bell Tower in the center of town.

My future home.

The Bell Tower that we climbed - all 366 steps. At one point the stairs were so small and high it was like we were climbing a ladder.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood has a vile of Christ's blood.

The cutest image ever: an adorable puppy overlooking the waters in Brugge.

The horse dressed as a zebra Jina befriended in the train station.

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