I have officially hit the two week mark. What?! Time has absolutely flown by, I have not had a semester pass this fast… Ever. It’s kinda freaking me out. I know I said that my last month was going to be amazing, and just a week and a half in, it’s been exactly that! The past few days have been packed with activities including everything from the Royal Greenhouses to meeting Imagine Dragons to touring the EU and it’s been so fun!
The day after we got back from Luxembourg our program organized a visit to the Belgian Royal Greenhouses. They’re located on the royal grounds, right next to one of the castles (or royal buildings/houses or whatever they’re called these days) so it was pretty neat to be right there on royal grounds. They’re also only opened for about 3 weeks a year in the spring which is pretty cool I guess. But compared to the Denver Botanic Gardens this place was tame. The coolest part was being able to walk around outside, though. There is so much space! And there is also this really cool Japanese style building that one of the previous kings decided he wanted, so he got it and put it in the gardens. I guess when you’re king you can make impulse buys like that…
The gardens were pretty cool but we ended up getting lost in
definitely not the best area on our way home so that was somewhat questionable. But a good night nonetheless! Later that week we got a holiday on Wednesday so we decided Tuesday would be a good night to go out as finals are just around the corner. It just so happened that one of the biggest parties of the year was happening that night so we decided we had to go. The local universities, the ULB and the VUB, throw these parties every so often called TDs. Basically everyone dresses in sweats or grungy clothes because it’s a giant warehouse party and instead of totally finishing your drink you just throw it into the crowd. None of us were dressed for it but it was the last TD of the year so we had to check it out. It was gross and I can’t say I loved getting beer everywhere but it was so much fun! It was a group of us from my program and we just danced and had a great time. Not sure I ever want to go back though.
Before the TD
Just two days later we were off to the Imagine Dragons concert! I was just getting ready to head out for the concert in my last post so I went over it briefly. But basically we scored amazingly cheap tickets for a band that’s blowing up in the states right now and selling out huge venues there so we were already off to a great start. We decided to stop by the European Union happy hour before we went to the concert because it’s all outside and the weather was beautiful. It’s just outside of the EU headquarters downtown and all the employees pile out into the streets and out onto the yard and just hang out. Now that the weather is so beautiful this place is packed and so much fun. We all wanted to stay longer but we had to get to the concert!
The concert was just as amazing as we all thought it was going to be! The venue was small and intimate and the band actually sounded so much better live than they do on their album which doesn’t happen often anymore. The best part, though, is that we decided to
creep hang around afterward and ended up meeting the band!! It was so great. There weren’t many people who stuck around so we actually got to talk to them, we were all so starstruck. It was awesome! Part one of our high profile time in Belgium.
Too excited about meeting the band
Then this past weekend there was a festival in Brussels to celebrate Europe Day as well as Iris Day, the festival to celebrate Brussels essentially. The sun was out and it was a beautiful day so we decided to trek downtown to check things out. It was great we did because the EU was open to tour for free, it’s the one day a year that they open their doors to the public. It was super cool being able to walk around inside and see all the different rooms. We also got tons of free souvenirs (I got the cutest EU themed reusable shopping bag, I’m obsessed)! High profile part two.
We continued to walk around downtown and wandered away from the Europe Day stuff and towards the Iris Festival stuff. This got way weirder and felt way more festival-y. I got my first street waffle in Brussels too! I have to say the ones in Bruges are way better (the waffles in Belgium are different in every city).
Some things that made honorable mention are the charity beer pong tournament at school, randomly finding the Grand Place lit up in different colors on a Monday night, and showing my cousin around Brussels.
It has been a crazy busy few weeks in Brussels and I absolutely love it! I’m getting ready to head into finals and my last day of class is tomorrow. I can’t believe that in just one week I’ll be done with study abroad AND I’ll be a senior in college. Not quite sure if this is real life or not…