The day was fixed 1st June 2010…. I was to visit my brother in Brussels, Belgium and take euro trip (ahem…not like movie ‘eurotrip’ … but family vacation) with my bro, bhabi and her sister. A day before that I was getting all nervous because it was going to be 12 hours of flight journey… my first ever foreign trip…plus I was doing it solo…. it was too much of ‘first times’ that it made me uneasy and anxious both at the same time..!!!!
My nervousness eased out with nice and buzzing Mumbai airport that made me to temporarily forget the first flight stomach cramps!!!! Unlike whatever I had heard about the stomach crunching when aircraft makes a takeoff…I suffered nothing..!!!! Disappointed??? Well to certain extent yes… the thrill part of my journey wasn’t thrilling at all..!!! Sigh…!!! But, Swiss Airlines made sure I had a gala time in the flight with hordes of movies, games; TV series at my disposal throughout the journey. Food though, wasn’t all tasty but it was ok!!! After almost 8 hours of journey I had reached Zurich…the beautiful city in Switzerland that left my mouth wide open!!! With a chilling 9 degrees Celsius it was not only windy but it was raining cats n dogs there and the whole of Zurich looked totally mesmerising and chic!!! It reminded me of Shahrukh-Kajol’s DDLJ and the uber cool Swiss panorama in the background!!! Sigh … I couldn’t stay there longer since I had my connecting flight in 2 hours to Brussels -the European Union Capital and home to my brother.
My first impression of Brussels was – that it is too fussy with so many trams, metros, trains that you need to change while going from one destination to other. But, on the contrary it seemed cake walk as days went by and soon became part of my life there. Crossing roads only at zebra crossing, walking only on the footpath was something that appealed me instantly and I was glad to see everyone following this unlike in Mumbai!!!! (Comparing it with India was not intentional… but it happened inadvertently)
Burners gave way to hot-plates, Rotis to freezed chapatis from supermarket; tap water to toilet papers…Europe was different in so many ways…
Two things about bro’s apartment amazed me…first that it had 2 main doors one with password and the other with special key which was distributed to each tenant and the other thing that the apartment had no fans!!! What the hell!!! No fans…???? Yes… hence no constant sound of fan overhead and silence to its height that made clock ticking sound almost like an era is changing…!!!!
Getting out of house at 11 in the night one can easily expect a nice dark night with only ice cream parlours operating to make few extra moolahs from people who are out for after- dinner stroll. But, in Brussels picture was slightly different. Ice cream parlours were same and after-dinner strolls were also there but the thing that stood out was that at 11 in the night, Brussels was all lit up with evening sky with sun just starting to make its descend . JubelPark of Brussels looked stunning at that time and we just couldn’t stop ourselves from taking pictures of us with its background…
First day in Europe went down with lot of surprises and shocks and I was all ready to face a new day in Europe.