I was in Brussels yesterday, and once again, Belgium was wonderful. I only had about five hours to explore, but the city was so relaxed and friendly that I still had a great time. The week before I also visited Ypres, a city in northern Belgium, which was the site of some major battles in World War I.
In Brussels I did a lot of walking around just getting a feel of the city. I went into the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, which was a very nice Gothic church sitting on a little hill leading down to the Grand Place. Lining the cobblestone streets and sidewalks were shops, cafes and, most importantly, chocolate shops. There were so many to chose from, and the good ones had dozens of chocolate varieties displayed under glass counters, probably to prevent customers from drooling on the confectionary delights. We had a short lunch (by European standards -- only an hour and a half long) in a sidewalk cafe and watched people walk by while listening to some street performers....
Now that I have this general schedule, which includes six hours of class, it's easy to say "I'm tired," and just hang out at the university. I have less than two weeks remaining in Lille, so I want to make the most of it.
I'm all settled in at le Catho, as the University in Lille is sometimes called, and the city is starting to feel more like home.
Bruges is one of the cities sometimes known as the "Venice of the North," and since I loved Venice, I was very excited to visit Bruges - it didn't disappoint.
The Université Catholique de Lille will be my home for the next month while I take classes in French language and European politics.