I must warn my dear readers, in the past five years I have not traveled, nothing, not even a tiny bit. With the exception of the 2 fleeting visits by train to Madrid to take the Japanese language tests. So you can imagine I have seen little of the world and if I saw something, it was in my comfort zone.
This journey begins the 5th of July with an alarm going off at 4am. My father takes me to Alicante airport to catch my flight that departures at 7am.
It is the first time I travel with Ryanair, and on the Internet they talk shit about them regarding the hand luggage weighting, in the end nothing happened, just showed the ticket and my ID, wait for the doors to open, and within minutes I am inside the plane, a Boeing 747-800, single aisle with three seats on each side. Ryanair randomly assigned me a seat, no window or aisle seat, fortunately the plane is half empty and when the plane took off, the passenger at my right took a window seat, I follow the example and sat near a window. I enjoyed it while taking pictures.
After nearly two hours of flight, I landed in Charleroi, while exiting the plane I saw landing another plane of Ryanair, there was no other plane at the airport, so it had to be the plane of my vulcanusian companion Noelia and his Argentine friend Matías, arriving from Madrid. Vulcanus first participant in the flesh, after the first meeting we went directly to the shuttle to Brussels, arriving to our destination after another hour. Once in Brussels we took the metro because we had delayed a bit. [Useless mode ON] I’m not accustomed to usethe metro, in Cartagena there is only bus lines, and after buying the ticket (Thanks to Matías, the ticket-machine only accepted coins and I had no coins, I am so thoughtful …) after that we went separated ways, I towards the hotel, them to the Atomium. I had to pass through the typical control access to get to the metro platform … I could not find anywhere on the control access a place to insert the ticket, I passed the ticket along the door … I searched any openings in the access control … nothing; until I realized that two steps backwards before reaching the control access, there was a kind of device resembling a parking meter, which I did not even realized it was there, luckily no one was around. [/ Useless Mode OFF]
[Useless Mode ON (Again)] Something similar happened once I got in the metro (without knowing in which direction was going), there were only two stops before mine. The metro accelerated in two seconds to full speed, I almost fell. At the first stop I thought that I saw the doors open automatically and there was no button to push, in the second stop nobody got off and the doors did not open … Huh ?, how I was going to get off at the next stop? Fortunately a girl get off, and I discovered that the doors opened pulling manually … (O_o) [/ useless Mode OFF]
Arrived around 11:30 at the hotel, Ferenc, Patrick, Veronica, Edgaras and David were waiting at reception for the rest of us, I joining them after leaving my stuff in the room. The big hurdle, we would understand between almost 45 European people speaking in English ?, Yes, certainly we could and I enjoyed it. Little by little we were getting more vulcanusians and when we were getting hungry, we went out, looking for a place to eat, in short, we ended up in a Japanese restaurant, run by Chinese/Filipino/Asiatic people, but no Japanese. I went for the safest option, fried chicken and noodles.
After eating, we go on tour around the center of Brussels, but weather is a bit against us and it starts to rain in the afternoon, still managed to visit what we set out for, Manneken Pis, Grand Place, Maison Dandoy, galleries Saint Hubert …
On the Grand Place there was a lot of people watching a kind of game where (As I observed) a team throws a small ball the farthest they can, the other team tries to hit it, returning it further, .. I think, but people were having great time.
After that, we stayed at the hotel, where another large group of vulcanusians who had arrived in our absence was playing billiards, after introductions and small talk during all afternoon, we agreed to have dinner in the same hotel, followed by a constant arrival of more vulcanusians during the meal, after that we went out to see Brussels at night (with the ulterior motive of finding a bar)
And after 20 hours of going from place to place and 4 four hours of sleep, I fell onto my bed at the hotel.