Exploring Poland and Belgium

My trip to Poland was by far the best trip I have ever been on. I knew when studying abroad one of the first trips I wanted to plan was to Poland. After finding that I still have family residing there, I knew I had to experience my family’s life for my self.

My roommate at the time and I initially flew into Krakow, Poland. We we were then picked up from my distant cousin and drove a few miles to his him where he showed me his town and the house I would be staying in for a few nights. It was everything I ever imagined it to be and more. We we were treated like royalty, exactly how my grandparents treat me when I visit their homes. The next two days were filled with site seeing the popular Salt Mines and touring throughout Krakow.

A few days later we caught a bus to Zakopane, Poland. Here I stayed with more distant cousins from my dad’s side of the family. My experience in Zakopane was surreal. I got to see my dad’s house and where he lived and went to school. I got the chance to sit at the dinner table with family and feast on amazing home cooked meals. Before I headed back to the airport we took some time to hike and find one of the most beautiful natural lakes buried into the mountains. It was an amazing end to my trip in Poland. I only hope to visit there again soon.

To begin with, our flight to Brussels was not ideal for a group of inexperienced travelers. We flew from Bucharest, Romania with an early flight departing around 6:30 AM. So in case you’re wondering, we were required to be awake and ready to leave our hostile around 3 AM, then find our bus, which was hopefully arriving on time, to reach the airport. You could only imagine some of the emotions and attitudes existing among my friends. But for me, I was optimistic, looking forward to the Belgian waffles, French fries, and of course, beer!

We arrived to the airport on time for a generally quick flight into Brussels airport. The only problem now was to find transportation into the city center so we can get to the fun stuff I have already mentioned. Can you tell how well we planned this trip? Fortunately, everything worked out to our favor. We ended up finding a cheap bus ticket that transferred us to lockers where we stored our carry-ons from the flight. First thing we walked through was an interesting flea market outside a train station. Just a quick walk from there we reached Grand Place, the heart of Brussels city center. The building and monuments were amazing to see. After taking some pictures of the sights there, it was time for the famous Belgian waffle. Belgian waffles shops are at every corner of Grand Place. Mine was filled with brown sugar and Nutella. The city is also filled with Belgian style beer bars, chocolate shops, and French fry shops. I did not know French fries were so popular in Brussels, but they are served in a paper cone with your choice of over 20 different sauces. We wandered the streets, enjoyed our time at a Christmas festival, and marveled at the beautiful buildings.