The best flight option I could find from Salt Lake to Europe went through Amsterdam. I figured I’d hop back up from the Balkans to give myself a few days nearby, so I ended up spending the last three days of my trip exploring somewhere new! I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to see, but I wanted to eat waffles and chocolate and soak up the Belgian atmosphere. My friend Alan was able to join as well and it was so fun to see a bit of Belgium with no real agenda.
I based myself in Antwerp, since it was the northernmost city that was a slightly shorter trip from Amsterdam. From the first glimpse of the train station, it was gorgeous. I think it was my favorite of the three places I spent time in while I was in Belgium!
In classic fashion, I didn’t consider local holidays when I was planning this, so our first full day in Antwerp was some sort of national holiday. Sort of like when I forgot that Easter existed when Megan and I were in Italy – it just doesn’t occur to me, a person who barely celebrates holidays. Regardless, what that meant was that most of the places in Antwerp were closed. We figured it would be the same if we went to any of the other nearby towns, so we just went bar hopping in Antwerp. Let’s just say…. I’ve heavily sampled Belgian beer.
Somehow, we made it to Ghent the next morning, if a bit hungover (okay, more than a bit). Ghent was abuzz with a festival, which was really fun. There was live music and tents and all the streets were shut down, so we just wandered around and soaked it all in. Plus, both Alan and I got Belgian waffles covered in chocolate, which was really one of my main bucket list items in Belgium!
The last day, we headed to Brussels! We met up with one of Alan’s friends from study abroad, who fed us a delicious lunch and then showed us around. It was a whirlwind tour, so I’ll definitely have to come back some day, but I did see the statue and the Grand Place and a very cool park before I had to go find my bus back up to Amsterdam so I could fly home. It was such an amazing trip, and I felt so lucky to get another summer in Europe!