I arrived safe and sound some time around 11am local time today (which is about 5am your time). I took a taxi from the airport to the metro station which was a 38.20 Euro!!!! (~$60), I’m glad I didn’t try to take it all the way to Mechelen! I don’t think I got ripped off though, it was on a meter, and we seemed to take a very direct route, its just that gas is so expensive here (1.10 euro/liter = ~$5.20/gallon). At one point I saw that we were going 160 km/h on the highway, which I wasn’t sure till I got back to the hotel room, but we were going 100mph, and we weren’t the fastest cars on the road. I’m really glad I didn’t rent a car.
Navigating the train station was a bit of a challenge. There weren’t too many people that spoke english there, and the charts are printed up daily and posted on these long billboards that seem hard to navigate even to locals (well maybe not hard, but there’s effort involved). I did pretty well though and manage to get to Mechelen with out too much trouble.
From there I was planning on taking another, but hopefully less expensive, taxi ride to my hotel, but the station was more like one you would find in Woburn, and so there were not any taxi cabs waiting outside. I walked around a little bit with all three of my bags and eventually found someone who could direct me to the hotel. It might have been a 1/2 – 3/4 mile walk but it wasn’t bad, and I got to see a little bit of the city.
Once I checked in, I was floored by how nice the place is. Its really really nice. I don’t know how to really explain it, but it is. I unpacked all of my clothes into the small closet, set up my computer, started charging things that needed to be charged, etc, and then took a shower an a nap. I only slept for about an hour but by the way I feel now, I really needed it. Originally I was planning on spending today in Brussels, but now that its almost 4:30pm, I think that I’m just going to get familiar in this town, and maybe call it an early night so that I can have a nice long day in Brussels tomorrow.
That’s about it for now. You can check out the few pictures I’ve taken already at the gallery.