DeeWanderlust: Brussels, Belgium

Hey, nothing new with the intro.. it has always been the ‘I can’t believe I’m back to blogging again’ opening sentence! It has truly been a long time since my last post – exactly 9 months ago. I know that is absolutely terrible but here I go again, trying it for the Nth time to be consistent with blogging for 2019 🙂

So finally another travel blog and this time it is all about Brussels! From London (St Pancras International station) to Brussels (Gare du Midi station), it only takes approximately 2 hours via Eurostar which I think is amazing. Personally, I had a comfortable journey on the train itself, the temperature was nice and cool, you can bring your own food and wine or any drinks that you wish to have on the train. They also sell food and drinks on board. However, the only problem I found was the disorganised boarding process from St Pancras. Though the checks and passport control was smooth when leaving Brussels, it was the opposite when we were checking in at St Pancras. The queue was long and disorganised but I figured that there were three trains departing few minutes apart from each other (two Paris trains and our train to Brussels) at the time. There was hardly any space and people were sitting on the floor in the waiting area.

The Grand Place (Grote Markt), which is the central square of the city was the main one my list and it did not disappoint when I got to finally see it. It is registered on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO and it is absolutely beautiful. It is surrounded with the guild houses, City Hall and Maison du Roi. I have seen the place in daylight and at night and they are both just as lovely.

In the summer, they have the famous Flower Carpet on the Grand Place and last year’s event was devoted to Guanajuato, which is a Mexican region with exceptionally rich culture and flower tradition.

I love the Mont de Arts area, the first time I went to see it was just before sunset and it was so beautiful, but unfortunately I couldn’t take much photos due to lighting. However, I loved it – we just walked around, chilled after a long tiring day, watched the sunset while there were singers performing by the steps of Mont de Arts (how romantic 😊).

I then made sure that we go back to the place the very next day when it was much more brighter and sunny so I can take photos. Also, when you go up the stairs, you can see a fine view of the lower central city and the whole view of the beautiful flowers/garden.

While on our way to find Parc du Cinquantenaire, as soon as we exited the metro station we spotted the EU building. I saw it before as one of the list to visit for Brussels but I honestly didn’t think much of it. It was so unexpected but I am glad that it was close by to our itinerary and we were able to take photos from the outside of the building.

We also visited some amazing churches and other tourist spots.

After a few days of being a tourist, walking and exploring around the city can get so tiring and draining. Parc du Cinquantenaire was the place where we got to relax. On our way, there was a corner shop where we got our snacks and cold drinks from to bring to the park. We chilled and enjoyed nature for few hours and I must say that it was great being able to go to a tourist spot and yet still get to relax at the same time. Also, when we went around just after lunch time, there weren’t much people which is sometimes nice.

Of course, the other thing that I did enjoy was the food. Mussels, Belgian fries, beer, waffles and chocolates were some of them.

Overall, I was so happy with my Brussels trip. I have been tracking the weather for about a week or two before I went and it was supposed to be rainy and gloomy for all the days that I am staying but fortunately enough it was the complete opposite –  sunny and warm.

I will do a separate post for my Brugge, Belgium adventure because it is worth having a separate travel diary for that beautiful city.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what your next holiday destination is. Also, if you have been to Brussels, what were your favourite places and why?

Lots of love,

dsb

 

 

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DeeWanderlust: Paoay Church and Culili Point Adventure

I’m so happy that I’m finally doing another travel post after such a long time! This one is about Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. When I went on holiday, I had to visit the Northern part of the country as I hear so many good things about it but I just never had the chance to really visit. It was quite far away from the area where we usually stay and yes that equals to long drives but all I can say was it was worth it. We went to so many amazing places in the North that I had to break my blog post in few parts but for now here is my Deewanderlust adventure in Paoay, Ilocos Norte:

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As you can see in the photo, Paoay Church also known as San Agustine Church is absolutely beautiful. It’s overall design of Gothic and baroque emphasises its beauty and history. I am not surprised why it is considered as one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the entire Philippines. It is under a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site under the group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

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How I wish I got to show the interior of the church as it also looks amazing. It had coral stones, bricks and impressive architectural styles. The locals were explaining to us how the church stood the test of time. It had obviously survived countless typhoons and earthquakes. However, it was partially damaged during the strong earthquakes in 1865 and 1885. Nonetheless, I still think that it is stunning and the history behind it makes it even more beautiful. It almost reminds me of our local church in Morong Bataan (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church).

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Culili Point Sand Dunes Adventure – 4×4 ride and sand boarding

I’ll start off by saying that this was the highlight of my visit in the North!!! I loved the 4×4 ride adventure. I was sceptical at first and a bit overwhelmed as it wasn’t really part of our itinerary but my uncle decided to take us to this place because he said it will be fun. He was right, it was super fun and extreme! We went in a big group but only few of us rode on the 4×4 but can you believe that even my dad’s older sister joined us.

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We had to stand at the back of the ride and I remember the adrenaline it gave when we knew that we were going steep and downhill, so fun!

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The view was absolutely stunning, the sand, sea, sun, dunes, desert everything!  Sometimes it’s nice to see an empty space as it makes you appreciate nature more. Lucky enough our driver stopped a few times for us to be able to take photos, I mean if he didn’t I would have asked him to anyway. 😊

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There was a sand boarding area at the end of our driving experience. However, I didn’t get to try this. Some of my family members had a go and they said it was fun and had an amazing experience. I mean how often can you surf in the sand? 😊  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay in this area for too long as we had other places to go to. As you can see I was wearing a dress that day, I decided not to try it as I think I was not dressed appropriately for it and honestly, I was not in the mood to surf in the sand but I enjoyed watching and cheering other people surf.

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Overall, I loved my 4×4 adventure and would recommend it if you have the chance to visit the place. Not only that Culili Point will give you an amazing experience and the adrenaline rush but there are also loads of other beautiful places to visit within the area.

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 What is the best adventure you have done so far or planning to experience? Give me ideas, I need to add some on my bucket list!

Lots of love from,

dsb