A few years ago we were all raving about Germany being THE place to get your European footballing kicks.  Decent beer, cheap tickets, as many sausages as you possibly imagine and a bevy of beauties that will, well let’s leave it there had us flocking over to Deutschland at the drop of a hat.  And then Poland came along, with their Euro2012 euphoria filling our senses with even cheaper beer (even if it was called Plop), even meatier sausages and a bevy of beauties who for 50% less would, well we definitely need to leave it there!  But recently an old favourite has been turning our head.

“Hey boys” (adopt the voice of the Cadbury’s Caramel rabbit), “I have beer too…and not just beer-flavoured beer.  I have fruit flavoured, chocolate favoured, even chip-flavoured silky smooth alcohol.  And Sausages?  Well I have waffles, smothered in chocolate with a dollop on top.  And football….good old fashion football….with flares and fences.”  How could we resist that sweet Belgian voice?

But how could we get there I asked my imaginary furry friend?

“Well,” she whispered in my ear, “All of those trips to Paris for work have not been in vain.  You have Eurostar miles.  Hundreds, even thousands of them.  That is your currency.  They will take you to the party.”  So you see it wasn’t me, or in this instance, Danny Last’s fault.  It was that bloody rabbit who made us get up at 7am on a Saturday morning, travel to St Pancreas International, dragging Big Deaksy along for company, and boarding the first train to Brussels.  Damn you rabbit!

10405178733_08326964ae_bOf course it wasn’t only going to be about football, beer, chocolate and twice-cooked chips.  Oh no.  We had a cultural agenda as long as your arm. Well, that was what Kenny Legg told us who was arriving from his secret location somewhere in NordRhein Westfalia where he was still “doing stuff for Her Majesty”.  He had prepared the itinerary for our weekend.  Museums, art galleries and a classical concert I believe he said.  Only he left the plan in the Legg Arms on Friday night whilst he sang Trio’s Da Da Da on the Karaoke.  Bad form Kenny, bad form.  What to do, we mused on the train as it swooshed under the Channel.  Deaksy bravely suggested we revert to plan A of football, beer, chocolate and twice-cooked chips and the motion was carried 3-0.

Mid-day.  Brussels Midi

Like Marmite, you ever love Brussels or hate it.  I am a lover, whilst The Current Mrs Fuller is a hater.  “A dull, grey concrete jungle filled with Eurocrates goading themselves on tax payers money” was her summary a few years ago.  She had been to the city once, back in the day and was still bitter that Anderlecht had changed their game at the last-minute for TV and thus denied her an opportunity to take in a game.  I’d had some good times in the city and I had every confidence that this weekend would deliver more of the same. Continue reading