Today we took the train from Antwerp to Brussels for the day. We always intended to visit Brussels, but when we looked at the parking options for François they were pretty bleak in Brussels. We realized we could be in Brussels in a little over an hour by train from where we were, so we locked François up for the day and headed to the train station.
It was a pretty uneventful ride except I had us get off the train one station early, but luckily there was another train right behind the one we were on, so we arrived in Brussels only a few minutes later than our train did.
At one point in life there was some short lived discussion of a job assignment in Brussels so we had done some research on the city. At that time it had the reputation of being more of a manufacturing center and a little gray by all accounts. Either those accounts were wrong or Brussels has had a renaissance in the last 15 years because the city center was bustling with all of the air of a major tourist destination. There were lots of chocolate shops, on one high end street every third store was a chocolate shop.
We also visited a couple of very old beer shops that look like they belonged in the gritty industrial city I had expected. They were the kind of dive bars with excellent beer selections we really like. We also visited a bar that one of our friends recommended that has over 2000 beers from around the world. Unlike the dive bars it was catering to the tourist crowd. We took a walk around before heading off for a meal, and the visit to the cathedral.
Our trip back to Antwerp was uneventful and quick, especially since I did not get off in the wrong place. We got back just in time for a good sized thunderstorm complete with a little hail.