Sunday, July 26, 2009

EU trip (Holland & Belgium), Days 18

DAY 18

By today evening we would be in Milton Keynes England from where we started our first leg of the trip. The car was loaded up with all the stuff including our sleeping mats and sleeping bags those we used in our stay in Holland. It was around 8’o clock when we left from our host’s place after very warm good byes.

We came out of the city in no time as it was Saturday and most people were still sleeping. And it was hard to distinguish when we entered Belgium from Holland. Our next stop was Brussels that we planned to stop only for a few hours. Drive to Brussels was about two hours and that we completed without anything important and just watched the scenery around the highways.

First of all after reaching Brussels we stopped at the Mini Europe, which is a major attraction in this city. Mini Europe and Atomium are the two attractions next to each other. Mini EU consisted of all-important buildings of Europe build at miniature size. There was a fee to enter this park. I would rate it as an ordinary place to see, may be I was so tired of this EU trip that I didn’t really got excited about this place and all the more this trip of ours had been more of outdoors and nature dominant and this place was definitely not one fitting into the trip discription.
The Atomium was a large metallic structure that was built for the World Fair in the 1950's. This was made to celebrate the discovery of a certain atom by scientists. These were huge nine metallic balls joined with each other in the shape of an Atom. It was accessible via lifts for viewing of the city from inside the balls.
We spent a couple of hours at these two attractions and then rode towards the main squares of the city. I didn’t hear or read much about this city until I saw it but found this to be very impressive city indeed. The roads were not crowded due to weekend so we found parking very close to the main area in the city. Then off course it was all walk if you would like to see the city including the Grand Place (the main square). There were many small streets leading to the Grand Place. All these streets were full of small shops full of tourist items, eatables, clothing etc. This area was really busy with tourists from all over. We enjoyed this part of the city. In the main square there were several ancient buildings attached to each other. We also had a walk in other areas of the main city.

We had to catch a 6’o clock ferry to Dover from Calais so had to leave early as we were still 1.5 hours from Calais. So we came back to the car and drove in few more areas of the city before catching the highway towards France. The drive was straightforward and we were parked in the line to enter the Ferry with in 1.5 hours. But the Ferry was late and we had to wait for an extra hour for that.

After parking our car in the ship we went up to the deck to enjoy and then settled at one place where they had some children activities. Therefore this time was passed quite nicely as kids got their faces painted with their favorite characters and remained busy with their painting and stuff. We came out at Dover in the evening but still had a good couple of hours drive to Wasim’s place. Roads were familiar so Wasim drove happily and reached his place fairly quickly. We picked up a food order that he placed over the phone on the way. Unloading the car was done after dinner and everyone relaxed after that and was happy to finish the first leg of the trip successfully and collected memories for life.

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