At 5AM on April 23, after 2 hours of sleep, I woke up for my last day in Montreal.I had to catch a flight from Toronto to Rome at 6:30PM. I took the flight with the longest layover so I'd have time to see Brussels.
After some last minute preparations and a short stop at Tim Hortons, I took the orange line to Bonaventure to board the 7AM bus.
As I mentioned earlier, it was several hundred dollars cheaper fly from the Toronto Pearson airport rather than from Pierre Elliott Trudeau in Montreal. The 6 hour ride was a drag, but the savings were worth the effort.
I arrived in Toronto at around 1PM.Since I already visited Toronto a month prior, I had no trouble finding my way around. In addition, the TTC is very comprehensible. I stopped by a small Japanese restaurant on Dundas before making my way to the airport.
It was a clear day in Brussels. I set my watch 6 hours forward and took a taxi downtown. To my surprise, the driver knew a lot about the local history, so I had him show me the city before dropping me off at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces.
Although the museum had some great pieces, there were very few signs describing what you were looking at. Overall, it paled in comparison to the Canadian War Museum with its impressive collection of tanks and comprehensible exhibits. I have no doubts that the Bovington Tank museum will blow it out of the water though.
I walked a few kilometers east towards the city center. The architecture in the city is simply gorgeous. The old and new buildings cleanly mixed together and gave the city a very modern feel. The entire city was completely spotless and I don't remember crossing beggars or street salesmen, even in the more touristy areas. Brussels is one of the cleanest, most beautiful cities I have seen.
Before returning to the airport, I stopped for a Belgian ale on a sunny terrasse in a narrow street. A cold beer on a warm day is always welcome.
I loved Brussels, and I wished I had stayed longer. It's definitely a city I wouldn't mind living in. I feel like there is a lot left to see, so a second trip there is not out of the question.
As usual, you can see the rest of the pictures on Ping.