GEL Trip Series: Eurozone 2018
By Benjamin Mangubat
Eurozone 2018 was a fantastic and unique trip to take. We traveled around 750 miles across the European continent going from Belgium, to France, and Spain. This is the first part of the series covering this trip.
We visited many museums and historical sights including the famed Louvre in Paris and the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Spain. We visited Pont du Gard in the south of France and the European Commission in Brussels. Our trip started in the historical city of Brussels where we met our EF tour guide for the trip who would be our guide across Europe. We spent two full days in Brussels and toured the city. We learned why it plays such a big role as a part of the European Union as that is where the European Commission is headquartered. We had the rare privilege to learn about the European Commission and what it does for the European Union.
We arrived in Brussels at 7am and immediately hit the ground running. As soon as we were off the plane and through customs we were led to our bus and brought to downtown Brussels. We explored areas like the town square and a shopping center. We saw the famous Manneken Pis, a bronze statue of a boy peeing into a fountain basin. Every street was lined with food vendors who sold everything from belgian waffles to belgian chocolate. We could smell the sweet scent of chocolate and waffles as we wandered around the streets near the Grand Place. The area around the Grand Place, a market square surrounded by old guild buildings, is where we spent most of our day exploring where we found shops and restaurants.
Our hotel were were going to be staying at was not in Brussels, it was just south of Brussels in Charleroi. The city where our hotel was not not as big or lively as Brussels was, but it had a great night life that we all took advantage of. Our second day in Brussels involved an actual tour with a city tour guide. We saw the same sights as the previous day, except this time we had an expert with us to give us proper information.
When we finished with our city tour we went to the European Commission where we were led to believe that we would be getting a tour of the Commission. Unfortunately, we were packed into a classroom and given a lecture on the history and significance of the European Commission. We struggled through the first hour of the lecture as all of us were still jet lagged from the previous day, so we ended the lecture early and went back to our hotel for our final night in Belgium.
Now, this was a quick and highly summarized version of our first two days on the GEL Eurozone trip. We spent a total of 11 days on the trip traveling west across Europe going from Belgium to Spain.
There are more adventures to come, more stories to be told, and more things to learn. Part two will cover the second leg of our trip in Paris, France.