Tuesday, June 23, 2009
We left Paris in the morning on a Thalys train bound for Brussels, Belgium. This was, without a doubt, the most comfortable ride and meal service I ever had. Coffee and breakfast was excellent. When we got to Brussels there was a momentary state of confusion. It was a huge station and we had to hustle and figure out how to find our connecting train to Hasselt. We did, however, after a few miscues. Note: Always check with the conductor to make sure its the right train as some of these trains arrive within minutes of each other on the same track.
The local train was clean and comfortable but almost empty. After about an hour and a half we arrived in Hasselt. Our rental car office was nowhere in sight and after some inquiries we found out that the office was on the other side of town. The bus dispatcher was kind enough to get us on the right bus and had the driver notify us when to get off. The Eorocar office was a short walk from the bus stop and we must have looked odd walking down the side of the highway on the grass with suitcases in tow. We did get new Mercedes MB with a deisel engine which was perfect because we were going to do a lot of touring.
We soon checked into the Holiday Inn on Kattegatstraat. Later, we had a leisurly dinner at the Blue Olive restaurant a few blocks away. It was a warm evening so we dined in the open air section near the street.
The food was great and went well with a couple of bottles of Cristal.
There was a working cigarette machine in the restaurant which was quite a novelty for us as this has been outlawed at home for quite some time now.