So, last weekend I ahd a short trip to Brussels. After all the flying I had done to get here, it was much nicer travelling by train, even one with connections to make.

I had an early 7.25am train from Dijon, which mean catching the 6.45am tram (to be sure of making the train). The train of course arrived and left on time, and got to Paris just afer 9am. Then a trip on the RER from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord, and a short (~25 minute) wait for the Thalys to Brussels-Midi.

This again was a pleasant trip, and took abour 1 hour 20, arriving at 11.23am. I then chose to walk to the (cheap) hotel where I was staying, and managed, through not wanting to consult the map on my phone much, to end up walking much too far (I took the wrong street, then cut back, but it was nice to see some of the city). I was too early for checkin, so left my (light) bag there, and went exploring.

I went to the clearly-for-kids Mini-Europe, which was sort of fun, but really I was there to see the Atomium, built for the 1958 World's Fair. It is kind of (very) weird, but it was fun to go up it, in what was once the world's fastest elevator.

After that, I went for a walk to the Grand-Place, the Cathedral and around there, which was really cool. Brussels (that part, and all the parts that I saw at least) really does not feel like a big city.

The next morning (Sunday) I went to the Museum of Brussels, Belvue, and learnt about Belgian history (of which I was unaware), and also to Coudenberg, and archaeological site next to the museum, under a road (and some buildings).

Next, I went to the Tram Museum, with examples from Brussels' long association with trams, and then met up with Nick and Thibault,back in the Grand-Place. We walked around for a bit, had a waffle, and then went back to the Delerium Club (I think), the bar with the most varieties of beer on offer (at least 2004!). I'm not so taken with the beer, but that is pretty amazing. Also Tui, but at ~€5/330ml (I think), probably not worth having...

We then drove round for a bit (in Thibault's car), had some frites, walked a bit, saw the amazing Palace of Justice, which sadly we couldn't enter. But just the outside verandahs are amazing. We then saw Thibault's university (UCL, Université catholique de Louvain), and went back to Thibault's place for a bit. Then, he dropped me back at my hotel, for an early start the next morning.

My train was at 6.13am. So, I got the tram about 5.30, in order to have plenty of time. This meant getting up just after 5, which I feel is a bit too early. Anyway, the train was easy, then a reverse of the connection in Paris, again easy, and some time to spare waiting for the next one to leave. I was on the top floor of a double-decker TGV to Zurich(?), as far as Dijon. Again, a very easy trip.

So, that's not the last of my travels. I have booked to go to Switzerland this weekend. I left it late, so there was no (affordable) accommodation in Geneva that I could find, so Michael (whom I am going to see) and I are going to Zurich on Saturday, staying the night there, and then heading back to Geneva, where I have a backpackers for Sunday night. Then, I head to Lausanne to see a group at the university (EPFL) there, and then back to Dijon Monday evening.

I also have booked a flight to London, 31 July in the evening, and am staying with Gwynne until I leave on August 2. So, that should be all my travel booked now!