August 31st in the afternoon we made our way to Brussels from Ghent. Trains appeared to run just about every 30 minutes and that is if you filter out the undesirable ones.
We found our hotel with relative ease as it was a 1km walk from the train station. Or 1.5km if you take several tries to go the right direction.
Upon checkin the clerk helpfully advised us as to the whereabouts of the lift. Except there was no lift there. After looking around we just couldn't find it so we had to go back and ask her again. She then advised us to go to the second floor to catch the lift. On the second floor sure enough there was a really fancy antique lift ... that was out of service. Eventually we also found the entrance to a normal elevator, little thanks to her. Had she simply said to go down the hall on the ground floor the opposite way from the lift sign and arrow we would have found the normal elevator entrance. But perhaps she thought the lift was worth seeing and that we'd want to do so immediately, before even dropping our bags in our room.
The elevator took us to floor 2, from which you can access the 2000-series rooms or take a staircase *up* to the floor with 200-series rooms (like ours). The room was nice enough but the hotel was an enormous mazelike structure rich in inconsistent directions, unnecessary staircases, inconsistent numbering, and so on. Bemused and amused we eventually did reach our room.
Next we decided to stake out the path Rod's wife and our other friend should be arriving on. Naturally they took a cab and snuck in behind us. Eventually we figured this out when one of them walked out the front door. Then we met up with additional relatives, one of whom had something we'd only heard of before: a film camera.
Dinner was much fancier than usual.
This lemon-water soup is awful!
In a place like Times Square the advertising has become a major part of the experience. In places like near our hotel in Brussels it seems a bit tacky.