We were photobombed at Brussels!

While walking around the tourist area today in Brussels, we were photobombed by a cute Belgian boy. This cute, not-so-little boy (since he’s a lot taller than us) together with a few of his friends approached us at the Grand Place and asked if they could “bomb” our photo. HAHAHAHAHA!

Of course I’ve always known about photobombs, but i never had an actual experience being photobombed in another country.

The result?

A few cute little photo souvenirs for us to remember Brussels by. Here are some of those:

This was a unique and awesome experience for me and my family and we were all laughing about it. It made the boy and his friends happy too, as they took photo from their cams as well. One of the things we will remember Brussels by is its warm, helpful and friendly people and these shots are a good remembrance of those.

Have you been photobombed abroad before? How was it? What other unique experiences do you have while traveling abroad? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

I seem to attract a lot of European metro frustrations lately.

Early last week I posted my frustration with the Paris metro. But after a few days in Paris, I realized that my only frustration with the Paris metro has been this long flight of stairs with limited support of escalators and elevators, which is a pain when you are carrying a heavy luggage with you. Other than that, we pretty much had an awesome time using the metro to get from one site to another. You will still do a fair amount of walking, but the metro stations are very strategic with each of the popular tourist sites, and the lines and connections are easy to navigate so that helps cover a lot of area, especially if you are pressed for time. So with a map in hand, and a comfortable walking shoe (and of course, bundle up if you’re traveling in the winter time or early spring like we did), it’s very easy to get around Paris.

I said I seem to be attracting a lot of European metro frustrations lately because upon arrival in Brussels main airport, we took the train to get to the city and guess what? the train connections were not as straightforward to figure out. I downloaded several maps before our flight to Brussels and had to figure out which one’s the most accurate. What’s confusing a little bit is not the city metro itself, but the train that connects to the Brussels Airport and that go to the farther destinations. We finally got off at the Grand Centrale station as I saw this would take us closest to our destination (where our B&B was located). Similar to Paris, not all sections of the Grand Centrale station has escalators, so we had to lift our heavy luggage once again. :(

We didn’t see a machine working in the station, so we bought a carnet from the trains’ office window. (A carnet is a group of 10 tickets, similar to the one in Paris, only, the difference is, you are not given 10 tickets; rather only 1 ticket, which you need to hold on to, and validate for each trip you are taking. Similar to the Paris ticket, this one can be used for a number of trips; but you need to validate it in each station where you see a little orange validation machine near the turnstile.  If you are a party of people traveling, like we were, we had to put the ticket 3x for each stop as each validation counts for 1 person. The machine should tell you for how many persons it has validated already. It’s hard to know if the ticket is still vaild but we did use the only 1 set of carnet for the entire 3 days (in both Brussels and Paris).

What’s also confusing in Brussels is sometimes they call the station differently than what’s said on the map. For examples, Brussels South midi station is actually Gare du Midi on the map. They also call it Zuidstation. It took us some time to figure out the train but when we did, it was pretty much effortless. However, unlike the train station in Paris, which we had no difficulty at all of figuring out, we needed some time studying and adjusting to the metro and connections at Brussels, especially when it comes to connections with the regional train connecting to the airport.

So for those of you who are planning on a trip to Brussels, you may refer to the map below (which we got from the airport) to help you pre-plan and understand the connections and stops. Please keep in mind that this is valid as of today (April 2013) and that it may change in the future, so kindly use caution when using the map below. A careful research with the Brussels metro online must be done to validate whether the map is still valid by the time you are using it.

Good luck and happy travels!