After bidding the Hotel Mozart in Brussels adieu (or tot ziens since they speak both French and Dutch), I dragged my rollaboard carry-on down the cobblestone streets and across the cobblestones of Grand Place to the subway station on a sleepy Sunday morning.
After wasting €4 in the ticket machines trying to buy a €2 one way pass, I realized all the entry gates were standing open. No charge on Sundays? I’m still not sure.
I got to the train station/full-on mall really early and went shopping for chocolate and waffles. (The chocolate made it home in perfect shape. The waffles didn’t retain their freshness, alas.)
Continuing my celebrity sightings in Belgium, I saw Simon Baker holding an umbrella for a woman. He’s so chivalrous.
Eventually, it was time for my train to arrive. The station was very busy, but casual. I didn’t go through any customs or security at all, which felt a bit odd. There are so many trains coming and going that it can be a bit confusing. I double and triple checked my track number to make sure I got on the right train at the right time.
I had splurged for a first class ticket because the price difference wasn’t that much. I’m glad I did. It was a quiet ride, and the seat was really comfortable.
Breakfast was continental. The tea was really good. (I do love good tea.)
The view was beautiful. Rolling green hills with neat fields, thick patches of trees, and small clusters of buildings. It was a very fast train, and we arrived at Paris’ Gare du Nord before I was ready.