Here's my retrospective on the trip:
- The last night in Brussels walking through the alley's and square. This included having Mussels, which Brussels is known for, at a super cute candle-lit place in Mussels alley. It is such a beautiful old city. Where I think Paris might be over-rated, Brussels is under-rated.
- The warm cozy relaxing moments in pubs and coffee shops (by myself reading or with J) as well as time with j at her house. (It's a curious house she rents a room in... a lot of nude women art on the walls...)
- The hard but good conversation j and I had in the car.
- Self learning... In particular: J and I talked a lot about what questions we have in our heads when we travel. My question is "What is the best way to get there?" Which was a bit problematic at times because there wasn't really a best way. Her question is "Will we get there?" And the anwser is always yes. This is a much better question to have in one's head.
- The Van Gogh and Anne Franke Museums in Amsterdam. Both were highlights and very powerful.
- Traveling to Brugge by myself. It's such an adorable little town.
- Knowing what I know now I probably would have either skipped Paris all together or spent one more day and tried to be much much more more care-full with my body. The combination of the cold, the strikes going on, missing trains, and getting so sick made it feel like a harsh city. The people I stayed with and the Museum d'Orsey were good but I'm not entirely sure worth the cost.
- Spent one more day in Amsterdam or generally more time in Holland. We were really only there two days. It would have allowed me to spend more time at the Van Gogh museum and we probably would have felt less rushed. (Although timing wise we did need to get back to Belgium).
- Eaten more carefully. Both j and I talked about how eating regularly and eating food that was better for us would have been helpful. This is important for j but I didn't realize it was for me as well. I wonder if part of my getting sick was because of what I ate? Plus Belgium is the birthplace of French fries so it's not a place where you eat a lot of salads. :) Most of all I should have ate a real meal in Brugge instead of so much coffee and beer and crepes and pie....
- Brought with another camera battery. I couldn't charge my camera there because of the difference in volts. We used j's camera a bunch but I wish I had brought a battery.