The alarm rings at 05:30, I stumble out of bed and into the shower. There is time for a quick breakfast before we jump into the car again. I locate a clean shirt as well. In ten minutes we have parked and we drag our bags over to the terminal.
I have a loyalty card with SAS which means I can jump the queue and check in at the Business class counter, which comes in handy today. It is mayhem in the check in area, with people with skis, golf clubs, dogs and what have you going off on their vacations. The security line is moving at a snails pace, too, but we manage to get trough to international departures well before boarding time. I try leafing through a newspaper, but I nod off just as we are taking off, and I think all four of us sleep most of the two hour flight to Brussels.
Brussels airport i huge. On arrival, you walk for sol long you feel you’ll soon be leaving Belgium and end up in another country. Next worry: Is all the baggage her?. Yes, it takes some time, but it’s there. Next, the railway station.
We catch the 11:02 for Brussels.
It is spring in Brussels, The grass is green besides the railway line, and I swear I saw the cherries in bloom as we pass Schaarbeek. Most of the passengers get of at the North or Central stations, it’s just a few of us waiting for the last stop.
I find the ticket office for international departures. A new line and another 15 minutes of waiting, but I’m beginning to feel things are under control now.
Four tickets for the 14:57 Eurostar for London, please. Two adults, two children.
The ticket clerk taps on his keyboard.
It is cheaper to buy return tickets than one way. Here you are, I made return reservations for you on 4 June.
We find baggage lockers and walk out into the sun. I have no map with me, and I do not want to stretch the patience of the rest of the family. No, I do not think they want to visit the Cantillon brewery, even if it’s five minutes away. And, actually, I have far too many beers waiting for me in Manchester. We stroll along the streets in the area, stock up on water and find a friendly Portuguese restaurant. An omelet, some calamares, a steak frites for me. And a Duvel…