Paris, France – Bruxelles, Belgium – Koln, Germany – 5th day (06.07.12)

We have an early morning train trip from Paris to Bruxelles.  It was the best decision to take Metro trains early in the morning (5:30am) from Eco Militaire to Garu du Nord.  With three luggages to carry and taking the narrow trains in Paris Metro, it was easy for us reach Garu du Nord with less crowded trains at that time.

An old technology but very interesting electronic board showing your destination, time of departure, train number hanging at Garu du Nord train station.


While waiting for our Thalys train to Bruxelles


There was a little bit of bump when we were looking for our coach number.  We were asked to walked through the end but later on we found that our train was the 3rd train from the front of train platform.  Make sure the coach number from your train tickets matches the coach number shown outside the train or to make it sure, ask the train personnel.

An hour train trip from Paris to Bruxelles.  Outside Thalys train at Midi Train station in Bruxelles, Belgium


Only a day trip to Bruxelles, but it was worthwhile.  We left our luggages in the train station inside big lockers.  From MIDI train station, you can reach Grand Place or Grote Markt within three Metro stations.  Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse. The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels.

An alley leading to Grand Place


Different views of Grand Place.  Indeed, there were lots of tourists, especially in groups that were around the area during our stay.




Belgian chocolates are one of the best.  Inside one of the many shops around Grote Markt


This is really unique in Europe – cobble stones road.


Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudule which has similar features of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris


A different kind of musical band at the center of their plaza

A large group of tourists around Grand Place

Statue of Manneken Pis.  It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain’s basin. It was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1618 or 1619.

A cart with real horses delivering beers

ICE train that will bring us to Koln, Germany in an hour & a half ride.

Even only an over night stay in Koln, our hotel room in Gunnewig-Kommerz was the biggest hotels in our entire Europe trip.

A view of DB Train station from our room

View of Bridge of Locks from a far. Love padlocks (also known as Love Locks) are a custom by which padlocks are affixed to a fence, gate, bridge or similar public fixture by sweethearts to symbolize their everlasting love.

Closer look of padlocks in the Bridge of Locks

Cologne Cathedral is a renowned monument of German CatholicismGothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site.  It is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.

This is the biggest cathedral that we ever saw.  Inside Cologne Cathedral.

We had taken our dinner (german sausages) early after visiting Cologne Cathedral since our morning train trip to Lucerne was about 8:30am.

Time to bed


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