Last day in Brussels

On our last day dad wanted to go see the old town square, he had missed it at his conference when mum and I saw it on the first day, so we took a train out to an original gate tower from the old town. There was a small park with some grass and a couple of benches. There wasn’t much of the old wall left, just the tower. We caught a train back to the city and walked into the city square.

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More Brussels

There were a few more places for us to visit in Brussels in our last two days. The first was the Atomium. A huge thing built in 19 something something for the something something. It was built in 1958 for Expo 58, the Brussels World’s Fair. Why don’t we have World’s Fairs anymore as an excuse to build big things? Not that Australia needs an excuse to build more big things, we love a good big thing, but they aren’t in the same scale as an Eiffel Tower or the Royal Exhibition Building.

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Bruges

We decided to go to Bruges on Wednesday looking at the weather for the rest of the week. It was supposed to be sunny and 28, but rain later in the week. After a successful trip on the train the day before we set off again for Gare du Nord to get another train, this time in the opposite direction to Bruges. We sprung for 1st class tickets again, noting the insane number of campers and travellers the day before. Turns out the previous day was a public holiday, while there were still a lot of people on the train the tickets were about 3 times the price!

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Paris hates me

During my last trip to Paris I was still recovering from something I had eaten about a week before in Hungary, and it was at the end of a long trip. Our hotel was a little “boutique” thing we found on wotif, it was quite nice, but it wasn’t in the best area, within a couple of minutes of Gare du something. I think it was Nord, mum thinks it was Est. Either way, it wasn’t an area we wanted to be out in at night. Still, last trip I did enjoy quite a lot about Paris. I loved the museums, including The Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. I really enjoyed walking down the Seine past the book sellers, and Versailles – seeing that place it is no wonder there was a revolution.

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Inari to Tromsø

inari-tromso
Our route from Inari to Tromsø via the coast.

We checked out of the hotel fairly with a big drive ahead of us. We headed north-west towards the border with Norway. There isn’t very much between Inari and Norway. Trees, some reindeer, more trees, mosquitoes, and rain. We managed to find a lot of rain and mosquitoes. Even though Norway is not a member of the EU, they are part the Schengen Area (like Iceland). If we blinked we might have missed the border crossing, just a tiny sign on the side of the road that said Norge.

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Helsinki – Take 2, this time with mohawks.

The train ride back to Helsinki was punctuated by the Russian border control taking my passport for a while and going for a walk, to another carriage. Turns out my visa had been stuck in the passport upside down, and they couldn’t scan it on their machines. Didn’t have any issues getting into Russia, but this time they wanted to check with a supervisor on what to do – manually type in the visa details on their machines.

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