Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The after life

Hello hello :) long time, no see! Ever since I left Belgium, I am back to my routine in Portugal, but still doing all the traveling I can on my vacations and holidays. I still have some good friends in Brussels and Antwerp, so I think Belgium will be a preferred destination every year, even if just for a weekend (thanks to the low-cost companies which introduced some competition in the monopoly of the Lisbon-Brussels route that TAP and Brussels Airlines had back then!). Here I'll be posting about my returns to Belgium since my departure in March 2014:
  • May 2017 - I spent a weekend in Brussels, to visit friends and participate (again) in the 20km of Brussels. I wandered around the center, had lunch at KoKob (eat like an Ethiopian = run likean Ethiopian?!), passed by Delhaize for the usual supply of chocolate and cheese and gathered with 40.000 people in Parc du Cinquantenaire for a run around this dear city of ours (with a surprinsingly hot weather of almost 30ยบ - hotter than Lisbon, actually!).
  • April 2016 - I went two times to Brussels on the same week. One for work (to attend a meeting in the EC) and the other to visit our friends (which I had scheduled long before, to make use of a long weekend given by a national holiday). Again, I split the time between Brussels and Antwerp, passed by our usual places (restaurants included!) and visited a new one: Hallerbos. Luckily we were there when the bluebells were at their peak and the views were amazing. Only 30 minutes away south of Brussels, this is definitely a great place to spend some time.

  • May 2015 - When I did the EC traineeship I noticed that many of my colleagues liked to run and were very excited about participating in the 20km of Brussels. At the time, I didn't run, so I didn't understand the buzz, but when I returned to Portugal I started running and participated in some events and finally understood all the fun. So I kept in my mind that this Brussels' race was something I was going to do some day. This year we got a good flight offer for the weekend and decided to go. We were there for 3 days and got the chance to: stay at our friend's place, have a cone of frites upon arrival at Place Jourdan, wander around the center and have lunch at KoKob, pass by Colruyt and buy some cheese and chocolates (you can see a pattern on these visits already!), have dinner at L'Amour Fou, visit our friends in Antwerp, do the 20km race, have a recovery lunch at Mama Roma, take a look at our friends' new home and return to Lisbon. The race was amazing and it was the first time ever that I ran 20km (even when training, I only ran 10km max), so I was very proud of my result. There were so many people on the streets throughout the entire route, cheering for the runners, even though it was raining a bit! The environment was fantastic.

  •  November 2014 - I was in Brussels for just 24h, but I still had time to take a train to Antwerp to visit my friends, wake up at 7h to wander around (a very empty) Grand Place, see (a very lonely) Manneken Pis, buy cheese and chocolate for the boyfriend and friends, attend a work meeting organized by the EC (so nice to be "on the other side", representing my authority and our Member State), have a fast lunch to use the lunch hour to visit HEMA, go back to the work meeting and then straight to the airport.


Stay tunned for more returns to this city and country from which I have very fond memories of :)

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