Saturday, October 2, 2010

Travel: Euro Trip Part 2 - Brussels to Berlin

Day 1: Three of us (B, H, and I) flew LAX >> PHL >> Brussels, Belgium. Our fourth friend, K, was able to meet up with us at any of the following three airports: Dusseldorf, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; or Brussels, Belgium. I checked airfare for a month before finally settling on a cheap US Airways flight to Belgium.
Day 2:  We arrived in Brussels in the morning, took forever to clear customs (omg the long lines!), only to find K NOT there waiting for us as expected. After spending a fortune at a phone booth (I'm so not kidding) calling K to figure out where he was (he wasn't answering his phone!), K finally did arrive -- just an hour or so later than he was supposed to. We greeted each other enthusiastically despite our initial panic, not having actually seen each other in about a decade. B met K for the first time and K was amazed to see how much H changed. When we got to the car, I couldn't believe 4 adults + all our luggage would actually fit in this tiny, typical European-sized vehicle (H was worse than I was in terms of packing!). After cramming it all in, we did a lightening fast tour of the Grand Place and surrounding area, took obligatory shots of the Manneken Pis (ha, ha), and ate some authentic Belgian waffles.

We did a 9-hour drive to Berlin, stopping a million times along the way, catching up on what's happened in the last 10 years, and going way, way, way too fast on the Autobahn.

That evening, we ate at a super crowded/popular restaurant in Germany and made the mistake of asking to take home our leftovers. The waiters simply could not believe our request and the people at the next tables laughed. At first, the waiters suggested that this was only possible on weekdays, but definitely not on a Friday night. Only then did I remember from my German classes that this is a "no-no" in Germany. It worked out fine though: they let us take home our delicious leftovers and we tipped American-style :).

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