Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Belgium 2015, Day One

The weather here is just amazing--blue skies, nice temps... living in Canada makes me forget that much of the rest of the northern hemisphere is deep into spring.  I am here in Brussels for two reasons: a) to participate in a Canada-Germany foundation's conference; and b) then to do some research for the next project.  I am also looking forward to meeting the people behind the wonderful Canadian NATO and US NATO twitter accounts. 

Today was the transition day, as I arrived this morning via Frankfurt airport, which always astonishes me with its size and less than helpful signage.  This time, I was also confused--am I supposed to pick up my baggage and move it through customs and then re-check?  No, that is just a non-Schengen thing to do....

I am staying in a super-spiffy hotel for the first few days (when it is on the conference organizer's dime), and it has confused me.  Best shower I ever had in Europe, probably, but it took me a minute to figure out how to turn it on.  My post-walk nap was in full sunshine since I only realized afterwards that among the many light buttons next to the bed is one for raising and lowering the curtain.  Really. 

I did walk about to see the city.  While my 2011 trip to Belgium was chock full of tourism (Mons, Vimy, Bastogne), the research was conducted at NATO HQ, so I stayed on the outskirts of town and only drove in to drop off my co-author at his hotel.  Driving in Brussels scared me and scared the GPS.  So, no tourism last time.  I should have, alas, plenty of time to check out Brussels as my interview calendar for next week is a bit thin.

Oh, and I met the key mission objectives: beer, omlette and then latter waffle
Time to suit up for dinner as the conference kicks off.

1 comment:

MSS said...

"Driving in Brussels scared me and scared the GPS."

Oh, my, yes. one of the toughest places we've driven, and I am usually a good navigator. I lost track of how many times we circled the city at about 1:00 a.m. before finally finding the right tunnel entrance to the right part of downtown.

(This comment form process is somewhat reminiscent...)