We made a short visit to Brussels and managed to visit famous squares and statues in Brussels, before we had to leave.
This is article no. 6 in a series of 6. The 27 days long journey was on an InterRail train ticket a long time ago, in September 1990. We started in Norway and transited through Sweden. We then crossed the Baltic Sea to East Germany (DDR), and continued to West Germany (BRD), Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria and Belgium. What follows are transcripts from my travel diary at the time. I have changed or added very little.
Wednesday 26.9.1990, Brussels
We did not sleep well on the train, and changed in Cologne at daybreak for Brussels. We still had time to see the famous cathedral both inside and outside. From Cologne the train passed through idyllic valleys with red brick houses on the Belgian side of the border before the landscape turned flat and we rolled into the capital of Belgium.
My girlfriend phoned an old friend of hers, who we had agreed to meet. He came after a little while and picked us up. We went to his place, nice.
In the afternoon we went sightseeing in the city and I had the opportunity to see what I knew of Brussels: Grote Markt, Manneken Pis, the Berlaymont building. Nice. But the city was definitely more than this, and this short visit to Brussels was definitely too short. It is of course large, but they have managed to keep a very nice centre: Narrow streets, pleasant and interesting architecture.
We had good Belgian food in a restaurant and went late to bed.
Thursday 27.9.1990 and Friday 28.9, Brussels to Oslo
We had a too late breakfast and had to take a later train to Cologne than planned. But we got off eventually, changed trains in Cologne heading north in the direction of Hamburg. There we had a wish to meet a friend who recently had moved there to work. Unfortunately she was at work that day and we did not have time to call on her at home. Our train was about to leave.
It was a night train going directly to Oslo. We had bought a berth for 100 NOK (17 USD).
Germany is flat like the other countries we had visited on this journey. In Hamburg we had a little walk near the railway station, towards but not into the St. Pauli / Reperbahn district.
The train took the ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby in Denmark. This ferry was almost as bad as the one from Trelleborg.
We woke up in Sweden near the border to Norway and on the Norwegian side we had some lovely weather with autumn colours and life was smiling. It was nice to come home.
Our journey on a map
This is the map of our journey through parts of Europe, on this InterRail. It includes all published articles, both travelogues and the World heritage sites we visited. There are also markers indicating links to articles with pictures from a particular country (including pictures from other trips).
We travelled by train, however the lines on the map show what a road trip by car would have been. Unfortunately, it is not possible to draw train lines on Google Maps.
This is an article in a series of six from a journey through East Germany (DDR), West Germany (BRD), Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria and Belgium in 1990. The text is a transcript of my travel diary at the time and illustrated with my photographs.
(1) East Germany: This is my diary from a four week train journey to Eastern Europe. We started in Oslo and crossed the Baltic Sea from Sweden to East Germany, at the time it was still DDR. After this we continued to Czechoslovakia and Hungary before cutting straight west through Austria to Belgium, visiting friends there. The return brought us back home by way of Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
(2) Czechoslovakia (1): Unlike East and West Germany, this next chapter is about a country still united, later divided. It tells the story of a country rich in history, and may give some hints of an emerging future. I have split this description in two, this part is about the present-day Czech Republic, the next part about Slovakia.
(3) Czechoslovakia (2): My journey through the now non-existing country of Czechoslovakia here continues with the eastern part of Slovakia.
(4) Hungary: Hungary is a very nice country, with beautiful scenery, good wine and transportation challenges.
(5) Austria: These last parts of this one month InterRail to Eastern Europe involves going west to Austria and Belgium and the long way home to Norway. I have split the story in two. First off is Austria.
THIS CHAPTER: (6) Belgium: Famous squares and statues in Brussels and the return to Norway.