last night at around 5pm i was blessed with the opportunity to get away downtown by myself. most of the time going downtown with the boys is not that big of a deal. their faces light up even with the suggestion. it means they can ride their bikes all the way to the waterloo train station and then ride a train all the way downtown. not having a car has its benefits while forcing us to use public transportation. public transpo humbles everyone. that is a totally different post.
last night i rode my bike to gare de waterloo, locked it up, took the 1657 towards anvers-central, and rode it for nearly 30 minutes to my spot downtown. unbeknownst to me the train actually terminated at gare du midi. there must have been train issues. this detour didn't bother me as i was on my own. actually it forced me to either get on another train or ride the metro to the stop arts-loi (french for art law), which would give me the transfer metro line to gare du centrale. i chose the metro and stopped at ave. louise for a possible meal. nothing was appealing so i got back on the metro to hit my original destination of grand place.
grand place has many many different eateries. many nations and cultures bring their style of cooking (except the mexican cuisine, which would be very advantageous for me and my crew). however, there is no other place like pita row. pita row is a street of greek style pita shops which are all fast and very tasty. not so much good for you as much as dora the explorer would say, "delicioso!" it can satisfy the hungriest of the hungriest. i sat down had my meal and watched the euro 2012 challenge on the tele. the whole street was full of excitement as italy and croatia were competing. what an atmosphere.
from there i walked towards the american embassy inside central station...STARBUCKS! had my usual, black coffee. i sat there and did what i love doing downtown...people watch. had my journal out, wrote down observations and prayers for the city and family. i will leave you with part of my entry:
i love being able to ride my bike to the waterloo train station and it being only a 5 min bike ride
i love being able to get on a train that gets me downtown in 30 min
i love having enough time to read a chapter of a book while on the trip to downtown
i love having a starbucks at central station so that i can sit and drink familiar coffee
i love that this is the meeting place for my wife and me
i love sitting at the station and watching the rush of people
i love walking a few meters out of the station into history and all that is magnificent of grand place
i love having a friterie of my own downtown
i love discovering new areas of this great city alone without fear or time limits
i love having famous pita row
i love you brussels