We arose disgustingly early and got ready with our eyes crusted over, we brisk walked to the train station and we waited.. and waited... and fucking waited some more. Three trains go past in the other direction! I am totally freaking out. My meticulous plan did not factor any sort of delay on the tube. It is at this point that I lose hope and say "well I guess we aren't going to fucking Brussels then!!"
Finally a train comes and we have about 15 minutes to get there, so we decide that we will run through the train station and beg the Eurostar peeps to let us on the train. Finally the train pulls up to Kings Cross and I leap off the train and start running through the station like a gazelle on steroids. I am dodging and weaving peak hour crowds like a fart in the wind. I run down the platform and up 3 flights of stairs and make it through the underground gates and this is when my body decides to shut down.
My legs, heart and lungs all simultaneously say to me "fuck this running shit!!" it's 7am, and I haven't eaten breakfast, and yet I've just been running like I'm Cathy Freeman, so my body decides that the best thing to do would be to lie down on the ground and wait for a security guard to pick me up and carry me to the train platform. Unfortunately this is reality, and unless I can make my legs move I am not going on that train, I am not going to go to Brussels and I will only have my stupid useless body to blame.
I walk as briskly as I can, even though I feel like I am going to pass out, my lungs are on fire and I can't breathe. Mark however is still sprinting ahead of me because his body is functional and I just wave him on like I am a tragic war hero on a battle field "just go on without meeeeeeee. I'm just holding you baaaaaaaack. Tell em i'm comiiiing!!!"
Mark runs through the station like Forrest Gump. Like all the way through the station. To the other end. Because he hasn't been reading any of the signs and we missed the turn off and we now have have to run back to get to the right place. All this extra wheezing and running doesn't bode well for me, I think I have just discovered I have asthma.
The loudspeaker taunts us with "Final boarding for Brussels! Final Boarding call for Brussels!" Arghghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I use whatever minute bit of strength I have left in my limbs and lurch/run to the gate. Luckily we make it through. We have about 45 seconds to spare, but we pass through the gates of destiny.
When we finally make it onto our train I can't believe it. I also can't breathe and still think I might die, so I make Mark hunt down water for me by any means possible. Two hours later, my lungs are back to normal, I've had a nap and I am ready for everything that Brussels has to offer me!
Brussels, like most European cities I have been to, are the equivalent of Architectural Heroin. I can't stress enough how beautiful their town squares are. I can't get enough of it. So essentially Brussels is a town of gorgeous buildings, food and beer.
And did I mention the Beer? Strawberry Beer, Raspberry Beer, Peach Beer. Deliciousness Hops Style.
If I were to nominate my Number One city for the ultimate Dirty Weekend, it would be Brussels. All that chocolate and sweet nectar of foreign beer and buildings, and waffles, and spicy meatballs. It is a city of indulgence.
Aside from all the gluttony, I do have to say that the Mannekin Pis is the lamest attraction that any city has to offer. Underwhelming to the max, unless you are a pedophile - which I am not. I also saw a gypsy lady with her tit out on the street breastfeeding what looked like a fake baby to me. And you don't see that very often.
We covered all the things of cultural significance, which leads me to think that unless you have a thing for Gothic Churches there is no reason to go to any of these places because that is the best example of beauty in building form possible. We prayed for Lenny not to die whilst we were away for one night, lest he find some ribbon and choke to death or something equally stupid - you never know with that cat!
Brussels! Just go already. Just make sure you time your morning better than mine.