We are in Rouen now! We’ve been here since about 11:00pm, have the “only kinda sorta not really”. But we do have pictures and stories fun today!

Our train didn’t leave until the afternoon so we spent the morning running errands and taking a last look at Brussels.

Our first stop was the Church of Saint Nicholas. It was not a very big church inside either, though substantially larger than the Basilica of the Holy Blood we saw yesterday. But they did have quite an interesting story to tell about 19 priests, monks, and other religious men who were martyred in the 1500s when the Church was on the port and was attacked by “sea bandits and thugs” – we’re guessing this means pirates?

Then it was off to the Brussels Museum, where they explained the city’s history. Probably not your idea of a good time, but they had a lot of really cool ideas about how to make museums more interesting!

For example, in the clay exhibit, they’re encouraging people to interact with the items on display by drawing their favorites on the glass with chalk markers! Some people drew it the exact same way and some people choose to change it up a little, as you can see in these ducks…but it was really neat to see what other people had drawn and of course we had a blast drawing our own!

It was time to head back for our luggage…but what’s this? A super cool medieval tower I forgot to tell you about? Yup, that’s the Black Tower and it is the only remaining part of Brussels’ original city walls. But I wasn’t lying when I said we had to come back here for our luggage – that modern building going all around it was our hotel! As the city grew, they wanted to put modern buildings in this area, but the city also wanted to conserve this important historical building. This was their compromise! 

One thing I already miss about Brussels though – the free citywide Wi-Fi! The city government has their own Wi-Fi network anyone in the area can use for free. They do say there’s no guarantee the service will work everywhere at all times – there are way too many people in too big of an area for that – and we did notice it cut in and out somewhat frequently. But still, what a cool idea and a huge step towards being a truly modern digital city!

After some major shenanigans on the train which ended up rerouting us through Paris, we finally pulled into Rouen just a few minutes before 11pm. Not exactly prime picture taking time. But! We are staying practically on the doorstep of the Rouen Cathedral, seen here…kinda.

Such a pretty steeple, at least?
The taxi driver was super excited about the cathedral though and informed us very strictly that we are “obligated to go see the cathedral first thing tomorrow” so…I guess that’s what we’ll do? Should be pretty cool!

Our comments winner for today is…Vanessa W! Congratulations Vanessa! Tomorrow is a full day in Rouen, apparently starting at the cathedral, so be on the lookout for some pretty awesome stuff going up!