Day 14 - Saturday 23rd November
Heading back to Belgium today having experienced the Xmas Market, which is what Viv wanted to see. Managed to get back out of the restricted emissions zone without being ticketed, we hope. The car park beside the Stellplatz was also full of motorhomes so we were definitely pleased with ourselves for having arrived early on Thursday.
Filled up with diesel again as the price in Germany worked out about 7p/ltr cheaper than back home. The diesel prices in Belgium have varied between €1.34 & €1.52/ltr which is a huge difference.
We made our usual stops along the way at a McDs in Maastricht & a Lidl near Brussels. The temperature is warmer now & after 32/33 degrees we are up to 40 degrees, daytime that is.
We got to Brussels by 4pm & I had picked out a stopping place on a car park next to the Atomium construction in the Northern sector. The Atomium is basically a giant shiny structure made up of spheres & tubes to represent an atom. It is a major symbol of Brussels & a great tourist attraction. Unfortunately for us all the car parks beside the Atomium we saw had a 2.2mtr height bar at the entrance & as we are 2.76mtrs high we couldn’t enter. Overnight parking is allowed on the roads around the Atomium but not really keen on sleeping on the streets. We found a road next to the Heysel stadium that allows parking & had half a dozen big lorries parked up there apparently for the night so we parked up there. We bought a parking ticket from a nearby machine which gave us 17hrs parking for €3 so we thought we were set for the night.
As it was still daylight we locked up & headed to the nearby Atomium structure about five minutes away to see what it was all about. It proved to be most interesting with various rooms in the spheres including a viewing platform & restaurant in the highest one. It was getting dark by then at 5pm but we paid our €13 each & joined the queue for the lift to the observation sphere.it was quite a long queue but eventually we were whisked up through the centre tube to the top. The view is great & we could actually look down to where we had parked the motorhome. It was well dark by then so we could only see the night lights of Brussels but it was impressive.
We had to queue again to get down to the ground level again & from there we went back up escalators & stairs to view a couple displays & exhibitions in a couple of the other spheres. Such an impressive structure & the film showing the construction was a bit mind blowing when you see the men working at great heights without any safety equipment, not even helmets.
When we up at the viewing sphere we saw another car park at the large Trade Mart Brussels building which appeared to be almost empty, unlike the other car parks around which were pretty full. When we left the Atomium we went to check out the Trade Mart car park. We were pleased & a bit surprised to find that it didn’t have a height barrier at the entrance plus the sign said that motorhomes were welcome. Also it was only €6 a day to stay there so we decided to move from our street location as it looked a lot more secure.
By the time we moved, set up & had our dinner it was most of the evening gone so we settled down for the night.
Mileage today - 102
Total mileage - 958