|Sunday August 21st, 2011||Posted by Carsten under Belgium|
Brussels – belgium capital and maybe the only reason reason why the Flames and the Wallones still live together in one country. Brussels – European capital, if one wants to say so. At least the European parliament and other official EU offices meet here. One of them being the research council, which will be evaluating Annes proposal for the Finland project. Of course, we went there and tried to find some good words for it.
But from the beginning: The way to Brussels was bumpy. Interestingly though, that still a lot of racing cyclists use the rather inappropriate roads. Most of the time, there is some small cycle path along the roads, which is like half a meter extra pavement on the side with poor quality. Whatever, we saw a lot of other cyclists and coming to Brussels they got really speedy. We bumped into the Belgium national time trials and although there were two of us, we did not have any chance and were directed to the sidewalk. Anyways, we had not have that many cheering spectators, yet.
In Brussels itself, we wanted to meet Heiko, whom we were playing Frisbee with back in Berlin and whom Anne regularly meets at climate conferences. He had recommended us a campsite almost in the heart of the city, which is behind a church on an old graveyard. Definately recommendable. Our visit to Brussels was full of culture. First we went to the movies (‘Midnight in Paris’, as some kind of preparation), on the way back we went around the Brussels Summer Festival and listened to the music behind the fences. The next day we were invited by Heiko to have breakfast and dinner with him, which were both delicious. And in between we visited the two main sites in Brussels, the Atomium and the Mannekin Pis (a peeing boy fountain). The first one I imagined smaller, while the last one was disappointingly small.
After the touristy stuff, we found a very nice bike shop in the city center (Velodroom), where they not only knew the Pino bike, but also had some suggestion how to solve our spokes problem. In the end, I was exchanging every single spoke’s nipple of the back wheel by better ones and spent some part of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in their workshop. Very interesting experience, I now can say that I know every single one of my spokes by heart. Let’s hope it helped.
Two nights on the graveyard later we had to say goodbye. We met Heiko again at the University, where he again invited us to have lunch. After that, we took a more indirect path out of the city, more or less southwards to Paris…