Brussels highlights, week 1(.5)

It would be an understatement to say that a LOT happened this week. In U.S. and EU politics, sure, but I’ve also been trying to adjust to living on a different continent.

The jet lag was rough. Really rough. There were several times the first few days where I actually thought I regretted deciding to study abroad. But after a week and a half, I feel much more like myself and have genuinely enjoyed myself this past week & weekend.

I’ll do some more in-depth posts covering my internship & other various experiences as the semester goes on, but since I have a lot to cover, here are some highlights of my first week and a half living in Belgium:

First of all, Brussels has some great #views.

Brussels, quite literally, has an uptown and a downtown. The uptown is where we live, in an area called Ixelles, and the downtown is down the hill. This area overlooks the more historic and touristy areas of the city. This is my favorite view so far.
This is me taking the above photo.
See that white spire in the first two photos? That’s the top of this cathedral, one of the many buildings in Grand-Place adorned with intricate facades. They surround the large square that is the heart of Brussels’ tourist district.

And some great eats.

Take this Margherita pizza, for instance. It’s from a place run by Italians called Il Nobile, a short walk from my apartment. I’ve eaten it three times so far. (I’ve eaten Belgian food as well, I promise. Most notably, frites with a side of garlic mayonnaise sauce. And a waffle.)

And a slight spiritual reprieve from the constant excitement.

Here’s the beautiful Église Notre-Dame du Sablon (Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon Church) near where Hannah Haynes and I explored yesterday. The inside of this cathedral felt like another world altogether. Stepping outside afterward into the noise of cars in the middle of a bustling city was disorienting for both of us.

And a healthy dose of dissent.

This is just one of the photos I took when I attended the Lights for Rights rally at Brussels’ Place de la Monnaie on Friday evening. It was powerful to feel the energy of so many women (and men) expressing their discontent with political leadership across the world, particularly the newly sworn-in administration in the U.S. But, as I quickly learned this week, the EU is not without its problems.
I know it’s overwhelming, fellow woms. It’s okay to feel like this sometimes when the world seems constantly out to get you. We shall overcome.

This week ended on a high, though. Some great sightseeing and adventuring this weekend, both alone and with pals, made me feel more confident in the city and with public transport. I’m feeling pretty good heading into the second week of my internship.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Be well this week, my friends!

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